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Research Project: Preventing the Development of Childhood Obesity

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: The perspectives of Hispanic mothers on factors influencing dietary choices in their families and communities

item CALLENDER, CHISHINGA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe

Submitted to: Annals of Behavioral Medicine
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2023
Publication Date: 4/1/2024
Citation: Callender, C., Thompson, D.J. 2024. The perspectives of Hispanic mothers on factors influencing dietary choices in their families and communities. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 58(Suppl 1):S311.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Obesity disparities exist in Hispanic girls, and dietary behaviors may increase their obesity risk. Obesity prevention programs to help parents create an obesity preventive home environment are needed. The purpose of this study was to collect formative research from parents of 8-12-year old Hispanic girls about perceptions, expectations, and content for a mHealth child obesity prevention program. Mothers (n=30) were recruited for a mixed-methods study (online surveys, interviews). Descriptive statistics were computed for survey responses. During the interviews, participants discussed responses to survey questions, including the importance of healthy eating, factors influencing dietary choices, and views of healthy foods in the Hispanic community. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and key point summaries were generated. Mothers were Hispanic (100%), 31–50 years old (93.3%), married (86.7%), and all had at least one 8–12-year old daughter (83.3%). The majority of mothers (83.3%) believed it was very important for children to eat healthy, and all mothers believed it was very important for parents to encourage healthy eating. Time (93.3%), costs (80.0%), convenience (73.3%), activities outside of the home (53.3%), and family preferences (46.7%) were identified as factors influencing dietary choices for families. Views varied regarding cultural influences on family’s food choices. Most mothers (70%) believed that the Hispanic community has different views of healthy foods than other communities. Some mothers discussed the influence of traditional foods on food choices. Examining parents' perspectives about dietary choices can provide insight on how to develop relevant and culturally acceptable child obesity prevention programs for Hispanic families.