Honors Theses


Diana Cuy Castellanos


Health and Sport Science

Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Due to a series of social determinants, the Latinx population currently living in the United States is suffering from a multitude of health disparities. Many of these disparities are nutrition-related, as the health issues that most disproportionately affect the Latinx population are obesity and diabetes. In order to treat these dietary-related health disparities, one must examine the complex aggregation of factors that work to influence specific dietary habits. Dietary habits are impacted by a series of individual, social and environmental factors. Moreover, in the case of Latinx nutrition, the level of acculturation, or cultural adjustment, plays a crucial role in determining dietary behavior. By utilizing the socio-ecological model of public health, these specific constructs can be carefully analyzed to determine their explicit impact on dietary behavior. After pinpointing the distinct function of each construct, the exact dietary-related needs and assets of a particular community or target population can be identified.

The East Dayton area as a whole is affected by incommensurate poverty and food insecurity, with the Latinx population possibly more affected as they may be more detached from various community resources due to language and/or cultural barriers. East End Community Services and Mission of Mary Farms, two non-profit organizations in the East Dayton area, have both expressed their inability to engage the Latinx population within their nutrition community programming. The goal of this research was to work with key community partners in order to adopt both an asset and needs-based analysis that properly identified the specific nutritional needs of East Dayton’s Latinx population. Through a comprehensive literature review and semi-structured interviews, in-depth information pertaining to the nutritional needs of the Dayton Latinx population was obtained. The conclusions drawn from the assessment results were then given to local community organizations, Mission of Mary Farms and East End Community Services. The data then helps to provide insight for the development and implementation of culturally-tailored nutrition interventions for the Latinx population.

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Undergraduate research


Medicine and Health Sciences | Sports Sciences