Adherence to dietary recommendations is associated with acculturation among Latino farm workers

J Nutr. 2013 Sep;143(9):1451-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.177667. Epub 2013 Jul 17.


We examined adherence to dietary recommendations on fruit/vegetable and fat intake and identified correlates with acculturation indicators as well as with family, lifestyle, and occupational factors in a farm worker cohort in central California. Interviewer-administered questionnaires for this cross-sectional study were completed from January 2006 to April 2007. Participants were 18- to 55-y-old Latinos living in Mendota in a farm worker household. We assessed fruit/vegetable consumption and fat intake using the Block Fruit/Vegetable/Fiber Screener and the Block Dietary Fat Screener, respectively. Survey data analysis methods for contingency tables and logistic regression were used for assessing associations. The sample included 802 participants, reporting mean fruit and vegetable intake ( ± SD) of 5.0 ± 1.5 daily servings, and 47% reporting < 5 daily servings. Being born in Mexico or Central America and longer United States residency were associated with higher odds of consuming ≥ 5 daily fruit/vegetable servings and more frequent consumption of field products while working was associated with lower adherence to this recommendation. The average daily percent of calories from fat was 35.0 ± 4.1% and 53% of participants consumed > 35% of daily calories from fat. Men born in Mexico, women born in Central America, and participants who worked in fruit or vegetable crops had higher odds of consuming ≤ 35% of calories from fat. Higher acculturation level, United States school attendance, and having a child at home were associated with lower adherence to this recommendation. Acculturation, family, and occupational correlates of diet quality were identified in this underserved, immigrant population. Our findings may assist program targeting and intervention efforts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • California
  • Central America
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diet Surveys
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Fats