Cognitive Factors Associated with Frequency of #Eating Out and Eating Takeout among Latinas

Higher frequency of eating outside the home can be an unhealthy behavior that may contribute to higher rates of obesity among Latinas, a disproportionately affected group. There is a growing need to understand potentially modifiable factors (eg, dispositional mindfulness, self-efficacy, nutrition knowledge) associated with higher frequency of eating outside the home in this population.

This study assessed associations of cognitive factors (ie, dispositional mindfulness, self-efficacy of eating and purchasing healthy foods, nutrition knowledge) with frequency of eating out among Latinas. A secondary analysis was performed of data from a cross-sectional study of Latinas between February and May 2015. The study comprised a convenience sample of 218 Spanish- or English-literate Latinas, between the ages of 18 and 55 years, who lived in South or East Los Angeles and self-identified as the primary person responsible for grocery shopping in the household.

Most participants identified as foreign-born Mexican Americans. Frequency of eating out was assessed as the outcome variable, and three cognitive variables (mindfulness disposition, self-efficacy, nutrition knowledge) served as independent variables. Multinomial models assessed the association between cognitive factors and frequency of eating out. Models were adjusted for age, English-speaking ability, income, having an obesity-related disease (ie, overweight or obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease), household size, and education level.

For every 1-unit increase in mindfulness disposition, the risk of a participant eating out every week compared with every month decreased by a factor of 0.42 (relative risk ratio [RRR] = 0.58, P < 0.01). For every 1-unit increase in self-efficacy, the risk of a participant eating out every week compared with every month decreased by a factor of 0.32 (RRR = 0.68, P < 0.05), and the risk of a participant eating out every 2 weeks compared with every month decreased by a factor of 0.44 (RRR = 0.56, P < 0.05).

For every 1-unit increase in nutrition knowledge, the risk of a participant eating out every week compared with every month increased by a factor of 1.42 (RRR = 1.42, P < 0.01). Lower dispositional mindfulness was associated with higher frequency of eating out when comparing individuals who ate out at least every week with those who ate out once a month or less or every 2 weeks. Lower self-efficacy was associated with eating out more when comparing those who ate out once a month or less with those who ate out at least every week or every 2 weeks.

Lower nutrition knowledge was associated with lower frequency of eating out for participants who ate out once a month or less compared with those who ate out at least every week.

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