Sara Hanson


Introduction: Minority populations suffer disproportionately from health-related issues, particularly chronic diseases (Department of Health and Human Services, 2012). The majority of Hispanic adults (68%) report being overweight or obese (Ai, Appel, Huang, & Lee, 2012). Studies on obesity-prevention measures and nutrition interventions for the Hispanic population include community-based participatory research approaches that are family-centered and have culturally adapted nutrition messages (Torre et al., 2013; Wieland et al., 2012). I hypothesized that involvement in a participatory women's group would increase self-efficacy for making healthy nutrition-related health behavior changes. The aims of this study were to facilitate women to identify their health goals, share information about culturally relevant resources to assist behavior change, and monitor their progress. Methods: Data collection included both quantitative and qualitative information from the participants' personalized notebooks, data from focus groups, a pre-post survey, plus post-hoc observations by the researcher. Results: Survey data revealed increased physical activity, decreased television watching, increased water consumption, decreased sugary drink consumption, as well as a stronger belief that the women had the resources necessary to make healthy changes. The qualitative data revealed the women's perceptions of the importance of gardening, healthy eating, exercising, spirituality, family, and idea sharing. Conclusion: The most prominent themes of this study revolve around the women's connections to nature, which seemed to emerge most when topics turned toward the garden as a means for improved health and well-being. Overall, the women expressed positivity toward achieving their goals and their ability to change their behaviors.

Date of publication

Fall 8-13-2014

Document Type




Persistent identifier