for females ages 18-65 (full criteria)
healthy people welcome
at La Jolla, California
study started
estimated completion
Bess H Marcus, PhD



The overall goals of this renewal are to replicate the findings of Seamos Saludables in Latina women, increase the effectiveness of the intervention, and measure intervention-related changes in clinical biomarkers. We will enhance the existing intervention by incorporating participant feedback (desire for greater interactivity and accountability), further targeting Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) constructs that were not influenced overall by the original intervention yet improved amongst our most successful participants (social support, outcome expectancies), and responding to changing trends and technology use in Latinos. We will conduct a clinical trial among Latina women in California randomized to either 1) the original Seamos Saludables tailored print only intervention or 2) a theory and text messaging-enhanced interactive technology based version of the Seamos Saludables intervention. We will also measure changes in cardiovascular and metabolic biomarkers (e.g., HbA1c, and LDL) to assess potential clinical impact of the intervention.


Latinos are the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the U.S., and report substantial and widening health disparities. Prevalence of type II diabetes is 60-100% higher in Latinos than in non-Latino Whites, and incidence in Latinos is projected to increase by 500% by 20503. The largest disparities are projected for Latino women (Latinas). Rates of overweight and obesity are 23% and 37% higher in Latinas than in White women respectively, and have grown faster in Mexican American women, by far the largest subgroup of Latinas, than in White women during the past decade. Given that Latinos are projected to comprise nearly one-third of the US population by 2050, this signifies a pressing public health concern in terms of costs, diminished quality of life, and lost life years. Interventions are therefore needed that are not only linguistically adapted for this population but address their specific barriers. "Mediated" intervention delivery approaches (e.g., mail, phone, or web delivered) that emphasize home-based, lifestyle activities show larger effect sizes than face-to-face approaches, are more cost-effective, are likely more sustainable, and may be particularly appropriate for Latinas, as they reduce the burden of time, childcare, and transportation, barriers commonly cited by Latinas. Thus in the previously funded parent grant (R01NR011295) we responded to PAR-07-379, "Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities," by modifying an existing print-based mail-delivered PA intervention and adapting it specifically for Latinas in the North Eastern U.S. with low acculturation, literacy, and socioeconomic status (SES), and testing the modified intervention in a randomized controlled trial (N=266). Participants in the PA intervention arm showed significantly greater increases in at least moderate intensity activity, increasing from 1.87 min/week at baseline to 73.36 min/week at 6 months (vs. 3.02 min/week to 32.98 min/week in a contact control group). However, this is still well below the national guidelines of 150 minutes per week. This intervention therefore shows potential in promoting initial PA adoption, yet enhancements are needed to further help people achieve levels of PA that will prevent disease and reduce health disparities. The objectives of this renewal are to 1) enhance the intervention to achieve greater increases in PA, 2) assess its potential clinical impact by measuring changes in biomarkers, and 3) increase its generalizability by replicating it in Latina women, all of which would further the goal of designing an innovative behavioral intervention to promote health and prevent illness in diverse populations.


Inactivity Physical Activity Latinas Spanish-language Text-Message English-language Exercise Original Tailored Intervention Enhanced Tailored Intervention


You can join if…

Open to females ages 18-65

  • Female
  • Generally healthy (If asthma, controlled high blood pressure and/or controlled type II diabetes, may be able to participate with physician consent)
  • Sedentary (Less than 60 minutes per week of moderate or vigorous physical activity)
  • Hispanic or Latina (self-identified)
  • Must be able to read and write in English or Spanish fluently
  • 18 - 65 years of age
  • Planning on living in the area for the next 12 months
  • Own a cell phone capable of sending and receiving text messages

You CAN'T join if...

  • BMI greater than 45
  • Not able to walk continuously for 30 minutes/limited ability to complete daily activity or ability to exercise
  • Exercise is against advice of doctor
  • Current or planned pregnancy
  • Heart disease/treatment
  • Heart murmur
  • Angina/chest pain or Angina/chest pain with exertion
  • Palpitations
  • Stroke/Transient Ischemic Attacks
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Type I Diabetes
  • Uncontrolled Type II Diabetes
  • Chronic Infectious Disease - HIV, Hepatitis
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Abnormal EKG on last EKG performed
  • Emphysema, Chronic bronchitis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Seizure in past year
  • Surgery in past year on heart, lung, joint, orthopedic surgery
  • Surgery pending in next year on lung, joint, orthopedic surgery
  • Unusual/concerning shortness of breath
  • Asthma (may be able to participate with physician consent)
  • High blood pressure/high blood pressure medication (may be able to participate with physician consent)
  • Use of beta blockers
  • Abnormal Medical Stress Test
  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Fainting/dizziness more than 3 times in past year OR interferes with daily activities OR causes loss of balance
  • Cancer treatment in past 3 months
  • Hospitalized for psychiatric disorder in past 3 years or suicidal


  • University of California San Diego
    La Jolla California 92093-0628 United States

Lead Scientist

  • Bess H Marcus, PhD
    For more than 25 years, Dr. Marcus has directed research aimed at promoting exercise adherence and understanding the acquisition and maintenance of exercise behavior, and has published more than 200 articles on this topic.


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Study Type
Last Updated