Major and Classification
Biology and Minor in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention
Carol Koprowski, Ph.D.
Keck School of Medicine, Keck- Institute for Prevention Research
“A Qualitative Study of Supplement use among Young Hispanic/Latina Women Enrolled in a Fitness Center”
Regular physical activity with resistance training has many benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and prevention against obesity. Bicultural populations, such as the Hispanic/Latino(a) community, may be more susceptible to societal and/or cultural pressures to be physically fit. For example, the perceptions of nutritional supplements and physical activity routines may be influenced by a variety of factors such as social support and the media. The purpose of this study is to explore factors that may influence protein supplement use among Hispanic/Latina women. Data on protein supplement use and physical activity habits for eight women were collected by face-to-face interviews at a Los Angeles area gym. The interviewer asked questions about protein supplement use and exercise habits. All participants reported using protein supplements on a regular basis from 3-4 days a week to daily. Most participants reported using protein supplements to aid with post-workout recovery and for their fitness and health goals. They stated using the internet as an informational tool to learn about protein supplements. In terms of exercise habits, most participants were self-motivated to exercise for a variety of reasons ranging from health-related to appearance. All subjects preferred to exercise alone at the gym and stated that resistance training was their primary focus when working out. These women did appear to have an understanding of the benefits protein supplements and were able to apply that knowledge well into their diet and exercise habits. The data collected from these interviews will be used to design a larger study of protein supplement among Hispanic/Latina women.