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Development and Reliability of Brief Dietary Assessment Tools for Hispanics

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Prev Chronic Dis
    • Description:

      The Hispanic population is the most rapidly growing ethnic group in the United States. Culturally appropriate and efficient strategies for dietary assessment for this population are currently lacking. To address this issue and promote a healthy diet for disease prevention, we developed screening tools to assess the fruit, vegetable, and fat intake of Mexican Americans.


      Brief screening tools (screeners) were developed based on national data on Mexican Americans' dietary intake and were then modified after interviews and field testing. The screeners take less than 10 minutes to administer. A reliability study was conducted from June through September 2000, during which 93 Mexican Americans (39 men, 54 women) completed the screeners twice, 1 month apart. The mean age of the study participants was 36.5 years (range 18–71 years), and 91.4% had been born in Mexico.


      Correlations between the first and second administration of the screeners were r = 0.64 for fruits and vegetables and r = 0.85 for dietary fat contributors. In addition, estimates of fruit and vegetable consumption frequency were similar to statewide estimates for Hispanics in California. Reproducibility of reported use of vitamin supplements at least once per week was high; 84% were classified in the same way both times (P < .001).


      The screening tools provide a reliable assessment of selected dietary factors among Mexican Americans. The tools can be scored immediately to provide feedback to respondents. They may be useful in situations requiring easily administered and economical assessment tools, such as in large-scale studies or in community situations.

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