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Diabetes Educ. 2013 Sep-Oct;39(5):671-8. doi: 10.1177/0145721713495716. Epub 2013 Jul 29.

Missing the mark with Latina women with type 2 diabetes: implications for educators.

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  • 1Mirna Troncoso Sawyer, MPH, PhD candidate, University of California, Los Angeles, Fielding School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences Department, 8200 Kroll Way #16, Bakersfield, CA 93311.



The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore nutritional behaviors and attitudes among Latino women with type 2 diabetes.


Women over 18 years old and previously diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were recruited to participate in semi-structured qualitative interviews in their homes in Los Angeles, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Recruitment was conducted through flyers posted in local businesses. Interviews were conducted in Spanish or English. Data were transcribed and analyzed using an iterative process that involves reading interview transcripts and designating themes that arise from the data.


Acquisition of nutritional knowledge and behavioral capability were positively associated with observational learning, formal nutritional education, and culturally competent meal planners. The use of traditional remedies and the consultation of naturistas reveal a tendency toward medical pluralism. In the home environment, husbands had the greatest influence on Latina women's attitudes and perceived choices.


The social environment, including support and reinforcement, is critical for Latinas' nutritional success. Observational learning is critical for Latinas' behavioral capability.

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