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Certain dietary and physical activity behaviors have been associated with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, yet little is known about the prevalence of these behaviors among Latinas (Latino women). The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to compare the prevalence of diabetes-related behaviors in Latinas and non-Latinas. Using data from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey, we compared self-reported diabetes-related behaviors of Latinas (n = 4,321) to non-Latinas (n = 21,112) after excluding women who were pregnant or had diabetes. For six behaviors, we determined the cut point for the least healthy tertile: walking, doing moderate to vigorous physical activity, and consuming fried potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), desserts, and fast food. We used logistic regression to examine the association between Latina ethnicity and being in the least healthy tertile compared with the other two tertiles for each of these behaviors. In multivariate models adjusted for age, income, education, marital status, health status, smoking, and acculturation, Latinas had a higher risk (odds ratio [95% CI]) of being in the least healthy tertile for the consumption of fast food (1.94 [1.63-2.31]), SSBs (1.53 [1.29-1.82]), and fried potatoes (1.32 [1.18-1.67]), and lower risk for desserts (0.82 [0.70-0.95]). Latinas and non-Latinas had similar physical activity levels. Dietary differences between Latinas and non-Latinas (particularly in the consumption of fast food and SSBs) may be the focus of interventions to prevent diabetes in Latinas. Further research among Latinas is needed to understand and modify these dietary behaviors.


Matthew J O'Brien, Adam Davey, Victor A Alos, Robert C Whitaker. Diabetes-related behaviors in Latinas and non-Latinas in California. Diabetes care. 2013 Feb;36(2):355-61

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PMID: 22961569

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