Weight-Related Eating Among Less-Acculturated Latina College Students

Abstract

Less-acculturated Latinos have been found to have unique patterns of weight-related eating attitudes and behaviors. This study examined body mass index (BMI), body image, and various facets of emotional distress as contributors to weight-related eating among less-acculturated female Latina college students. It was hypothesized that unique combinations of BMI, body image, depression, anxiety, and stress would predict routine restraint, compensatory restraint, susceptibility to external cues, and emotional eating in less-acculturated Latina college students. Participants were 141 college students from a rural region in southeastern California who completed questionnaires. Preoccupation with being overweight, a body-image variable, significantly predicted routine and compensatory restraint whereas stress was an important correlate of reasons for eating other than hunger. Implications of the findings include the potential to inform models of weight-related eating among less-acculturated Latina college students. Limitations include homogeneity of sample pertinent to Latino descent. Future directions are discussed.

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Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Jose Preciado and the Faculty-Student Mentoring Program at the host university, in addition to Duvia Lara Ledesma and Joseph Pipkin for their roles in data collection and management. The authors thank Dr. Allison A. Vaughn for statistical consultation, as well. The Institutional Review Board at San Diego State University approved the study from which these data were obtained.

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Correspondence to Elizabeth Diane Cordero.

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Cordero, E.D., Gutierrez, A. Weight-Related Eating Among Less-Acculturated Latina College Students. J Immigrant Minority Health 18, 1032–1037 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-016-0387-1

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Keywords

  • Weight-related eating
  • Latina college students
  • Body image
  • Acculturation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress