Bean Preferences Vary by Acculturation Level among Latinas and by Ethnicity with Non-Hispanic White Women
With high levels of protein, fiber, folate, iron and other micronutrients, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating beans for optimal nutrition. Low-income women are at greater risk of nutrition-related health disparities. Use of beans may change among Hispanic women (Latinas) during acculturation, but few studies exist that describe specific preferences of this important traditional food. Preserving or promoting beans in the diets of all low-income women could improve dietary quality. The study objectives were to describe consumption frequency, purchasing patterns, and attitudes toward dry and canned beans, by acculturation level among Latinas and by ethnicity with non-Hispanic White women. Survey data were collected from 356 women (µ 32 y ± 9 y; 81% Latina), who were enrolled in, or eligible for, a federal nutrition assistance, or unemployment, program in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Participants had positive attitudes toward beans overall. Less acculturated and bicultural Latinas bought dry beans more often than their peers. Price was considered important in canned bean selection for Non-Hispanic White women, and less acculturated Latinas had poorer attitudes toward canned. Awareness of these attitudes and preferred traits of low-income women suggests ways to message populations to maintain or increase bean consumption. Negative views of canned beans by Latinas should be investigated further. Inclusion of canned beans in nutrition assistance programs may benefit those unfamiliar with preparing dry beans.