Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

School

School of Health Professions

First Advisor

Winston Craig

Abstract

Problem. Hispanics are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases and are a growing and significant population. There is minimal research regarding the lifestyle of the Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) among the Hispanic community. The purpose of this cross-sectional descriptive study was to ascertain the lifestyle, health status, eating and physical activity habits of the SDA Hispanics from part of the Midwest. -- Method. An anonymous survey was distributed in person to a convenience sample of 150 participants 18 years or older in the SDA Hispanic churches of Berrien Springs, Grand Rapids, Chicago, and Indianapolis. The survey was divided into five sections: demographics, eating patterns, physical activity habits, quality-of-life (QoL) questions, and a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). -- Results. Most of the Hispanics came from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic. About 56% of the participants were female and 44% were males. Only 57% of the participants carried health insurance. This study identified 56% as non-vegetarian, 19% as lacto-ovo vegetarian, 13% as pesco-vegetarian, and 12% as vegan. The mean Body Mass Index (BMI) was 27.0±4.3 for males and 27.3±5.1 for females, putting them in the overweight category. The mean Total Energy Expenditure (TEE) for males was 25.7±22.7 metabolic equivalents (METS)/week and 18.5±16.0 METS/week for females. On average, both genders slept 7 hours per day. The main reason given for adopting a vegetarian lifestyle was health concerns; the average span of those following a vegetarian lifestyle was 24.4±16.5 years (range 1-69). -- Conclusions. The majority of the Hispanics come from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic. Less than half of SDA Hispanic participants follow a vegetarian diet, mostly for health concerns. More than half carry health insurance. Most of the participants are in the normal and overweight category. Males are more physically active than are females. In this study, SDA Hispanic vegetarians consume more fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds than SDA Hispanic non-vegetarians. SDA Hispanics report significantly better vitality than national norms in most age groups and significantly better in the bodily pain scale than the U.S. norms in all age groups. SDA Hispanics report worse in the physical component summary (PCS) than national norms, though the PCS declines with age in both groups. Males report significantly better than females in the vitality and the general health scales/domains. However, when compared to the SDA Hispanic omnivores, SDA Hispanic vegetarians report significantly better in the mental component summary (MCS) and in the physical functioning, role-physical, vitality, social functioning, role-emotional, and mental health scales/domains.

Subject Area

Hispanic Americans--Middle West., Hispanic Americans--Health and hygiene., Vegetarianism--Middle West.

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