Introduction: Blood pressure is significantly improved with weight loss. Behavioral interventions for weight loss seem to be less successful in African immigrants. Our main aims were to assess the effect of a dietary and lifestyle intervention on weight among hypertensive Portuguese natives and immigrants and to identify success factors for weight loss, and also to evaluate changes in knowledge and compliance with food recommendations.
Material and Methods: Hypertensive medicated patients followed in primary care setting were randomly enrolled in a two phase study, observational (15-months) and behavioral intervention (six months). Participants were divided in two groups: immigrants from African Countries of Portuguese Official Language and Portuguese natives. Participants were given dietary and life styles recommendations in individual face-to-face and telephone sessions.
Results: Of 110 participants with a mean BMI of 31.6 +/- 3.7 Kg/m(2), 60 were immigrants. The number of dietary recommendations known and followed at the end was significantly greater than at baseline; however natives performed a greater number of recommendations. Weight loss during intervention was in average 1.4 +/- 2.7% in natives and 0.8 +/- 3.6% in immigrants and was greater than in the observational period. Being male and consuming more than 2 servings of low-fat dairy products/day was associated with higher weight loss, independently of age and ethnicity.
Discussion: In general the proposed intervention was efficacious especially in Portuguese natives, confirming other studies.
Conclusion: The intervention increased knowledge and adherence to recommendations, highlighting the relevance of nutrition education, culturally adapted in primary care.