Submitted to: Hispanic Health Care International
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 19, 2011
Publication Date: July 1, 2011
Citation: Cuy Castellanos, D., Connell, C., Lee, J. 2011. Factors affecting weight gain and dietary intake in Latino males residing in Mississippi: A preliminary study. Hispanic Health Care International. 9(2):91-98.
Interpretive Summary: The objective of this study was to investigate whether social and demographic factors were related to weight gain, dietary intake, and depression among first-generation Latino males. Seventy-five Latino males were recruited into the study from locations in south Mississippi, where there were large populations of Latinos such as Latino churches and grocery stores. Participants answered a survey administered by bilingual interviewers that included questions about their income, birth place, and length of time in the United States (US), marital status, and employment. The survey also included questions designed to assess fruit and vegetable intake among Hispanics, question to determine how adapted to Western culture (acculturated) the participant was, and a 20-question depression screener. Participants were also asked to report their height and weight. Results indicated that the length of time spent in the US and the presence of a spouse in the US was positively related to weight gain (if these factors were present, that participant was more likely to gain weight). There was a negative relationship between depression and fruit and vegetable intake (the higher the depression score, the lower the fruit and vegetable intake) independent of the other factors measured. This small preliminary study indicates the need for further investigation on the impact that depression has on diet quality among Latino immigrants, in particular males. In addition, other factors that influence dietary intake among immigrants, such as family structure and degree of acculturation, are also needed in order to adequately develop and implement obesity prevention programs for this population.
Research indicates that as Latinos become more acculturated to the United States, their diet changes and they experience weight gain. There is also a high incidence of depression in this population. The purpose of this preliminary study was to examine the correlations between sociodemographic factors, weight gain, dietary intake, and depression in a population of first-generation Latino males. The results indicated a positive significant correlation (p , .05) for weight gain, time spent in the United States, and spouse residing in the United States, as well as a negative correlation between depression and dietary intake. Depression was a significant predictor (b 5 2.30, p 5 .05) of fruit and vegetable intake after controlling for sociodemographic factors, therefore indicating that depression may negatively affect dietary quality and/or intake.