A qualitative review of Hispanic food choice: Exploring factors for healthy and unhealthy eating among Hispanic children and adolescents living in the U.S.

Sarah Marie Stott, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

The rise of obesity among Hispanic children and adolescents requires a greater understanding of the food choices and consumption patterns contributing to this epidemic. Hispanic populations experience a higher rate of obesity than other populations, yet little is understood regarding eating patterns and habits among this population. Much of the research conducted surrounding consumption patterns of Hispanics and obesity has been quantitative in nature, identifying certain habits and correlations. However, qualitative studies in recent years have offered a more comprehensive understanding of the multiple factors influencing Hispanic consumption patterns and health outcomes. Although there have been increasing numbers of qualitative studies on this topic, the current body of knowledge has not been reviewed and synthesized to assess the state of the field. This study identifies intrapersonal, interpersonal, and systemic factors that shape Hispanic children’s healthy and unhealthy eating based on a review of the qualitative literature conducted with mothers, fathers, and children and adolescents, published between 1995 and 2015. Based on the synthesized literature, prominent themes influencing Hispanic food choice include maternal identity, maternal beliefs, child preference, nutrition knowledge, planning and preparation techniques, family meal structures and cohesion, social support networks, work schedules, access, cost and legal status. Future qualitative research is needed to understand the complexity of how these factors interact to influence food choice. Future interventions should consider strategies that influence maternal identities, equip parents with parenting techniques not involving food, and advocate for policy reform to protect and promote the well-being of immigrants and migrant workers.^

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Stott, Sarah Marie, "A qualitative review of Hispanic food choice: Exploring factors for healthy and unhealthy eating among Hispanic children and adolescents living in the U.S." (2015). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10036289.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI10036289

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