Rural Hispanic Populations At-Risk in Developing Diabetes: Sociocultural and Familial Challenges in Promoting a Healthy Diet

Amy Heuman, Juliann Scholl, Kenton Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Type II diabetes affects Hispanic populations disproportionately and is the fifth leading cause of death for Hispanic people in the United States (Smith & Barnett, 2005). Risk of diabetes is of great concern throughout the United States and is clearly of epidemic proportions for regions such as the Southwest and Texas where the primary minority populations are Mexican American. We conducted four focus groups with a total of 49 Hispanic participants (23 adults and 26 adolescents) from rural West Texas communities to gain insights about participants’ eating habits, knowledge of diabetes, and potential barriers to preventive care. From the data, we identified a three-tiered predisposition or vulnerability to diabetes—heredity; preferences for unhealthy, culturally-based food; and temptations from U.S. mainstream fast food culture. These vulnerabilities added to the socio-cultural concerns that participants identified—importance of parental and familial modeling; challenges to healthy eat
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-273
JournalHealth Communication
StatePublished - Apr 2013

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