Predictors of fruit and vegetable consumption in older mostly Hispanic women in Arizona
KeywordsHealth Sciences, Nutrition.
AdvisorStaten, Lisa K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractRecent US statistics indicate continued increased incidence of many chronic diseases. The prevalence of these chronic diseases could be reduced if Americans would modify their eating habits to increase fruit and vegetable (FV) intake to the minimum recommended level of five servings daily. Educational strategies to change eating behavior would benefit from a greater understanding of sociodemographic and psychological factors related to dietary behavior. A secondary analysis of data collected from 361 older uninsured women participating in a controlled trial of diet and physical activity change conducted from 1998 to 2000 was completed to assess differences between Mexican Americans (MA) and non-Hispanic whites (NHW) in overall nutrient intake. Acculturation and the ability to accurately identify Stage of Change were examined and related to FV intake. Significant differences in energy, total fat, total carbohydrate, total protein, alcohol, total monounsaturated fatty acids, total polyunsaturated fatty acids, soluble dietary fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, total vitamin E, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, selenium, and legume servings a day were found between MA and NHW. Low acculturated MA and NHW had a comparable intake of FV. In contrast, more acculturated MA had a significantly lower intake of FV. Acculturation, education, smoking status, and stages of changes were the most significant predictors of baseline FV intake while only acculturation and backward movement through stages of change predicted change in FV consumption over time based on repeated measure analyses. The implications of these research findings are that nutrition interventions to increase FV consumption should be aimed at factors that are predictive of behavior change. In particular the differences by acculturation and stage of change underscore the need for tailoring educational intervention for greater impact. Given the small sample of our study, the findings need to be interpreted with caution. Policy inference can be suggested from this research, but further research is needed before implementation and changes of nutrition policy recommendations.
Degree ProgramGraduate College