Online Program

Rural hispanic parents' ideas about children's salt intake

Monday, November 4, 2013

Judy Gonzalez-Vargas, BS, Center to Address Children's Oral Health Disparities, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Claudia Guerra, MSW, Dept Preventive & Restorative Dental Sciences and Center to Address Children's Oral Health Disparities, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Kristin S. Hoeft, PhD, Department of Preventive & Restorative Dental Sciences; Department of Pediatrics, University of California- San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Judith C. Barker, PhD, Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine; Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health (CAN DO), University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Objective: To examine knowledge and practices of rural Hispanic immigrant caregivers about children's salt consumption and its health implications. Background: Most adults and children have high daily sodium intake and most adults strongly associate high salt intake with cardiovascular problems. Little is known about the association parents make between salt consumption and health for children. Methods: In California's Central Valley, qualitative interviews in Spanish investigated farmworking parents' views and understandings of dietary salt consumption. Hispanic female caregivers (N=30) were interviewed individually in their homes for 1.5 – 2 hours. Five focus groups were conducted (N=40 new participants), including one group with male caregivers. Interview transcripts were coded and thematically analyzed. Results: Caregivers believe children's excessive salt consumptions harmful, just as for adults. Children were viewed as controlling their own salt intake by age five. Neither salt in home cooking nor added at table was thought problematic, although fresh fruit sprinkled with salt, a culturally-based dietary habit, was acknowledged as salt consumption. Junk food snacks and school meals were identified as major sources of children's dietary salt. Parents preferred salty (savory) over sugary snacks. Sugary snacks were deemed more harmful because of obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. Conclusion: Parents acknowledge some dietary salt sources consumed and have particular beliefs about the health consequences of salt ingestion. These rural Hispanic immigrant parents feel they lack control of salt content of food prepared or consumed outside the home but underappreciate the domestic sphere's key role, which is under their control.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe at least three beliefs or practices of rural Hispanic parents with respect to their children's salt consumption. Explain whether parents prefer their chidlren to consume salty (savory) or sweet (sugary) sancks, and why.

Keyword(s): Child Health Promotion, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been principal investigator on multiple federally funded projects. My research generally investigates the ways in which the lay public understands and acts with respect to managing their various chronic illness. I designed the present study, obtained funding, trained and oversaw the field researchers, developed codes, engaged in textual analysis and writing.
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.