The Influence of Parental Education on Dietary Intake in Latino Youth

J Immigr Minor Health. 2018 Feb;20(1):250-254. doi: 10.1007/s10903-017-0563-y.


Acculturation to the US culture is associated with suboptimal dietary choices in Latino youth. The role of parental education in shaping children's nutrition is less clear. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between parental education, acculturation and dietary intake in 96 Latino youth ages 8-18 years. Parental education was assessed using a seven-category variable. Acculturation was assessed using the Acculturation, Habits, and Interests Multicultural Scale for Adolescents questionnaire. Dietary intake was assessed via 24-h dietary recalls using the multiple pass technique. Parental education was associated with lower fat intake (β = -0.115, p = 0.02) and lower fiber intake (β = 0.144, p = 0.03); these associations remained significant after controlling for age, sex, BMI and acculturation. There were no significant associations between acculturation and dietary variables (all p's >0.05). This data suggests parental education may play an important role in shaping dietary intake in Latino youth.

Keywords: Acculturation; Adolescents; Hispanic; Nutrition; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Diet / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Parents / education*