Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Introduction: Diet quality is a critical component in achieving optimal health outcomes. A poor diet can lead to various health complications including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Hispanic individuals have been found to have higher rates of obesity; therefore, it is critical that variables impacting diet quality be examined in this population. Available literature concerning nutrition literacy, neighborhood and diet quality have not been specific to subgroups of the Hispanic population, therefore, identifying how these factors influence the Mexican origin population is needed. The aim of this dissertation was to better understand the impact of nutrition literacy and neighborhood on diet quality in the Mexican origin population. Methods: A descriptive, correlational design was used to examine the relationship between nutrition literacy and neighborhood and the impact on diet quality in a sample of 130 Mexican origin participants. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS and SAS. Results: Statistical analyses were performed with nutrition literacy, neighborhood, diet quality subscales, and demographic variables. Multiple regressions yielded statistically significant results for the diet quality subscales of total protein foods, sodium, and refined grains. Independent samples t-tests yielded significant differences in scores between immigrant generations for whole fruits, sodium, refined grains, and saturated fats. Utilizing general linear model analysis, age was significantly associated with diet quality. Conclusion: As obesity rates in the United States continue to grow, it is important that factors leading to obesity are better understood and addressed. Due to the impact diet quality has on obesity, it is essential that we adequately understand the factors that impact diet quality. Additionally, as the United States population continues to become more diverse, it is essential that current research reflect this demographic shift. To date, there is limited information on diet quality in the Mexican origin population. Through better understanding of this concept, researchers and health care providers can better tailor dietary interventions to promote health outcomes for the Mexican origin population. Finding from this study can fill the existing gap in the literature for this topic and provide valuable insight on ways to modify future studies to ensure success with the Mexican origin population.
Available for download on Friday, April 19, 2024