In this study, we assessed the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and community influences on nutrition knowledge, views on healthy foods, grocery store choice, and grocery shopping patterns specifically at Latino tiendas, among Midwestern adults by Hispanic or non-Hispanic ethnicity.
We surveyed a convenience sample of adults on an open-ended definition of healthy foods, nutrition knowledge, shopping behaviors, and reasons for store choice.
Of the 149 respondents, no ethnic differences were observed in qualitative definitions of healthy foods (low fat, unprocessed, high nutrient content). Fewer Hispanics than non-Hispanics correctly identified healthier options for rice, canned fruits, and canned tuna. Respondents indicated that proximity to home and food price were motivators of store choice. Significantly more Hispanics than non-Hispanics shopped at Walmart (42% vs 15%; p < .001), and at tiendas (77% vs 14%; p < .001). Food selection was the most frequent reason given by all for shopping at tiendas.
Hispanics and non-Hispanics share similar views of healthy food definitions and important store characteristics. Non-Hispanics could potentially use tiendas more frequently considering expressed interests in food prices and selection. Some healthier food options that are culturally important were less known by Hispanics. Further research with a larger sample is needed to substantiate these preliminary findings.