271111 Improving Food Selection Options for Latinas with Diabetes and Their Families

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mirna Troncoso, MPH , Dept of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, CA
What strategies may help Latinas with diabetes make better food decisions? In this study qualitative methods were used to interview nine, mostly mono-lingual Spanish-speaking, women of Mexican origin about their nutritional attitudes and behaviors in Las Vegas, Nevada and Los Angeles, California between 2004-2005. The Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and a socio-ecological model of community nutrition environments was used to frame areas in the interview guide and the data analysis. For those of lower socioeconomic status, the greatest struggle was to understand nutrition information; for those with a family, an additional struggle was consideration of family members' preferences. The consumer nutrition environment emerged as a key area where Latinas with diabetes could receive useful support in making food decisions. The consumer nutrition environment encompasses factors such as the availability of healthy options, nutrition information, and price. For those with limited access to health education, the consumer nutrition environment could serve as a useful arena in which to disseminate vital information about making healthier food decisions. The community nutrition environment (i.e. types and locations of food outlets) also is another place where interventions could greatly benefit this population. Many of the participants talked about feeling a great desire for typical but “bad” foods like menudo, pan dulce, and bolillos con mantequilla sold by street vendors. Requiring non-traditional food outlets to provide information about calories, fat, and glycemic index could help Latinas with diabetes make informed decisions (i.e. how much pan dulce to eat, rather than fearing it completely).

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe key concerns that low-income Latinas with diabetes may have when it comes to food decisions Enumerate key areas where Latinas with diabetes would benefit from obtaining nutritional information within the food decision process

Keywords: Nutrition, Diabetes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in the field of public health for 11 years and I have conducted research on nutrition and families for 11 years. The research in the abstract I am submitted is for my master's thesis research conducted in 2004-2005. I have been a student of behavioral science/health education and community health sciences first for my MPH and now for my PhD.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.