Healthy Immigrant Community
While immigrant and refugee populations arrive to the United States healthier than the general population, these advantages disappear over time, partly due to adoption of unhealthy dietary behaviors. Population-based interventions have largely proven ineffective in maintaining previously healthy behaviors and novel approaches tailored for and initiated by these communities are needed.
In 2011, RHCP received funding for the Healthy Immigrant Families (HIF) project, during which community and academic partners co-created an intervention of 12 face-to-face modules delivered in homes by bilingual interventionists. At 12 months, there were significant improvements in dietary quality for adults compared with controls. There was also improvement in the control group, suggesting the presence of a “hidden” social network effect common to behavior change interventions. This led to the conception of the Healthy Immigrant Community (HIC) project. The overall objective of HIC is to modify our HIF program to implement a social network intervention to improve dietary behaviors among immigrant adults who are overweight and obese in Rochester, Minnesota. We intend to capitalize on the social network effects by expanding our theoretical framework to address the influence of a broader social context on behavior change while enhancing the potential reach and sustainability of the intervention.
Mayo Clinic: Office of Health Disparities Research