Food Purchasing Selection Among Low-Income, Spanish-Speaking Latinos

Latino families are able to purchase healthier foods without increasing their food spending.

The percentage of overweight Latino youth has doubled over the past 10 years. Many low-income families purchase and eat energy-dense foods because they are more affordable.

Investigators wanted to test if nutrition education sessions could change Latino’s food shopping practices. They analyzed grocery receipts at baseline. They then delivered nutrition education in home visits, along with instructions on food preparation.

After the intervention, the 13 families decreased the number of calories purchased and the number of calories from carbohydrates, and increased the percentage of calories from protein. The number of calories purchased from beverages, however, did not change.

This pilot study shows that grocery shopping practices are one factor that nutrition education programs can focus on to encourage Latino families to purchase healthier foods.