JOURNAL ARTICLE

Associations among food insecurity, acculturation, demographic factors, and fruit and vegetable intake at home in Hispanic children

Jayna M Dave, Alexandra E Evans, Ruth P Saunders, Ken W Watkins, Karin A Pfeiffer
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2009, 109 (4): 697-701
19328265
The purpose of this cross-sectional pilot study was to examine associations between food insecurity, acculturation, demographic factors, and children's fruit and vegetable intake among a sample of Hispanic children ages 5 to 12 years. A convenience sample of 184 parents of low socioeconomic status completed one-time, self-administered questionnaires assessing demographic information, acculturation, and food insecurity in the spring of 2006. In addition, children's fruit and vegetable intake at home was measured using a validated seven-item index. Parents were recruited through local elementary schools in San Antonio, TX. Pearson and Spearman correlations were used to examine the associations between the variables. t tests were used to explore the differences in means of children's fruit and vegetable intake at home for acculturation and food insecurity levels. Statistical significance was set at P<0.05. Significant correlations were found between demographic variables, acculturation, food insecurity, and children's fruit and vegetable intake at home. The overall mean fruit and vegetable intake at home was 1.04+/-0.63 (mean+/-standard deviation) servings per day. Higher rates of acculturation and higher rates of food insecurity were associated with lower fruit and vegetable intake at home. The findings reported in this study suggest a need for culturally tailored interventions targeting Hispanic children because fruit and vegetable intake at home among Hispanic children was low, regardless of the level of acculturation or food insecurity.

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