Nutrition Knowledge Predicts Eating Behavior of All Food Groups Except Fruits and Vegetables among Adults in the Paso del Norte Region: Qué Sabrosa Vida

Shreela V. Sharma, Alison Diane Gernand, R. Sue Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Objective: To examine the association between nutrition knowledge and eating behavior in a predominantly Mexican American population on the Texas-Mexico border. Design: Cross-sectional using data from the baseline survey of the Qué Sabrosa Vida community nutrition initiative. Setting: El Paso and surrounding counties in Texas. Participants: Data gathered in 2000 using random-digit dialing telephone survey. Response rate was 42.6% and final sample size was 963. Main Outcome Measures: Knowledge of recommended servings of food items was the independent variable and number of servings of food items consumed was the dependent variable. Data analysis: Multiple logistic regression was used to examine the association between nutrition knowledge and eating behavior. Results: 74% of the population was Mexican American. Nutrition knowledge was a significant predictor of eating behavior for grains (odds ratio [OR] = 6.42; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.4, 17.1), dairy (OR = 2.25; 95% CI: 1.5, 3.4), meats (OR = 2.02; 95% CI: 1.5, 2.8), beans (OR = 8.18; 95% CI: 5.1, 13.0), water (OR = 2.49; 95% CI: 1.7, 3.6), but not for fruits and (nonstarchy) vegetables (OR = 1.69; 95% CI: 0.89, 3.2). Conclusions and Implications: Nutrition knowledge predicts eating behavior for all food groups except fruits and vegetables. The role of cultural factors in eating behavior should be investigated to elucidate this finding. Results have implications for developing nutrition education programs for Mexican Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-368
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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