Relationships among dietary intake, dietary patterns, dietary quality and nutrient adequacy and substance use in Latina mother/daughter dyads

Elsa Pinto Lopez, Florida International University


This study examined the relationships among dietary intake, substance use, socioeconomic and acculturation-related factors among Latinas in Miami-Dade County. Substance abuse is rising among Latinas. A fuller understanding of this problem is needed given the rise of the Hispanic population and the role of women in Latin society. A better understanding between substance use and dietary intake can guide nutrition interventions to reduce negative substance-related health consequences. A purposeful sample of 320 Latina mother/daughter dyads were recruited and interviewed face-to-face as part of the Latino Women's Study. Dietary intake was collected via a 24-hour recall and examined by (1) nutrient intake, (2) dietary patterns using cluster analysis, (3) quality of diet using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) and (4) the Dietary Reference Intakes to determine nutrient adequacy. Substance use was measured with the Drug Use Frequency and the Healthy and Daily Living Form. Acculturation was measured with the Cultural Identity Scale. Three dietary patterns emerged based on the number of servings from the food groups established in MyPyramid. None were associated with substance use. Latinas who reported using cannabis, cocaine, sedatives without prescription and/or more than five alcoholic drinks on an occasion at least once a month during the previous twelve months had significantly lower HEI scores (64 vs. 60; F = 7.8, p = .005) and consumed fewer fruits (F = 16, p < .001) than non-users. Latinas classified as mothers whom reported consuming cannabis at least 1-7 times a week had significantly lower HEI scores (F = 4.23, p = .015, η2 = .027) than daughters with the same frequency of substance use. One dimension of acculturation, greater familiarity with Latin culture, was associated with good dietary quality (β = .142, p = .012) regardless of any type of substance used or income level. There was a high prevalence of inadequacy of folic acid intake (50-75%) regardless of substance use. Substance users consumed significantly more energy (1,798 vs. 1,615; p = .027) than non-users. Although effect sizes were small, associations between dietary intake and substance use among Latinas deserve further exploration while acknowledging the combined association with acculturation.

Subject Area

Nutrition|Public health|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Lopez, Elsa Pinto, "Relationships among dietary intake, dietary patterns, dietary quality and nutrient adequacy and substance use in Latina mother/daughter dyads" (2008). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3348803.