Rochester Healthy Community Partnership of Rochester, MN
Improving the health of underserved populations through proven methods and new ideas
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All Projects

Positive Loser (completed)

Immigrants and refugees to the United States have physical activity levels and dietary behaviors that are less healthy than the non-immigrant majority. Low levels of physical activity and poor dietary behaviors are associated with greater risks for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Interventions aimed at increasing physical activity and improving dietary quality among immigrants and refugees may promote healthier lifestyles and prevent chronic diseases.

Positive Loser was a pilot fitness program for exercise and nutrition for women with little experience with exercise, aimed at improving confidence in being physically active and eating a healthy diet. Positive loser was a six-week program with classes that met two times a week at the Rochester Area Family YMCA. Each class had two parts: 60 minutes of physical activity and 30 minutes of nutrition education. This socio-culturally appropriate wellness program for women was co-created by community leaders and researchers based on feedback obtained during a half-day fitness retreat, along with data from focus groups. About 50 Somali, Cambodian, Hispanic, and African American women in Rochester participated in the program. Pre and post measurements showed that participants had lower weight, lower blood pressure, lower waist-hip ratios, and reported improved self-confidence about exercise and diet, along with improved quality of life. The experience and results from this project led to the Healthy Immigrant Families project.


Mayo Clinic: Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Department of Medicine

Nate Nordstrom