The relationship between healthy food preparation self-efficacy, restaurant meals, and fruit and vegetable consumption in Mexican-American adults
Rates of obesity along the Texas-Mexico border are among the highest in the United States, along with an elevated prevalence of obesity-related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Foods prepared outside of the home have become an increasingly significant part of the American diet and may be one contributing factor to increasing obesity rates. The increased consumption of foods from restaurants and fast food establishments has contributed to a diet that is higher in fat, sodium, and cholesterol and lower in fiber, calcium, and iron. A lack of confidence, or self-efficacy, in one's cooking skills may contribute to the inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables in the United States since restaurants and fast-food establishments provide affordability and convenience. When eating at a restaurant you are more likely to eat high-calorie, energy-dense, and nutritionally poor foods. The purpose of this study is to use Tu Salud ¡Si Cuenta! (Your Health Matters!) Survey items to examine the associations between self-efficacy for healthy food preparation, consumption of restaurant meals, and fruit and vegetable consumption among a cohort of 1,439 Hispanic adults along the U.S.-Mexico border. The majority of the sample (87.46%) did not consume at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Chi-square tests reveal no association between individuals who are confident in preparing healthy meals and eating at a restaurant the previous day (p=.4379). Poisson regression model demonstrates that participants who were confident they could prepare enjoyable vegetable dishes were 1.15 times more likely to consume fruits and vegetables (p=.0054). Additionally, there is no difference found in the number of servings of fruits and vegetables between participants who went out to eat the previous day and those who did not (2.56 vs. 2.66, p=.2786). This study's findings can add to the growing body of literature about the dietary habits of Mexican Americans by providing the relation between confidence in preparing healthy meals, consuming restaurant meals, and fruit and vegetable consumption. Future studies could investigate the effectiveness of increasing self-efficacy for healthy food preparation through cooking classes and techniques for selecting healthy options when eating away from home.
Behavioral psychology|Nutrition|Public health|Hispanic American studies
Boutte, Alycia K, "The relationship between healthy food preparation self-efficacy, restaurant meals, and fruit and vegetable consumption in Mexican-American adults" (2013). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1549819.