Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris
L.) intakes in the United States (US) lag behind dietary recommendations despite their positive nutrition profile, health benefits for reducing chronic disease risk, and inclusion in nutrition assistance programs. Low-income groups, including Hispanics, have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. Hispanic dietary quality and bean consumption may decline with increasing acculturation. Intakes at recommended levels could improve health in all vulnerable low-income populations. The study objectives were to describe dry and canned bean preferences, consumption frequency, and attitudes among low-income Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women, and to assess if these characteristics differed by ethnicity and acculturation level among the Latinas. A convenience sample of 158 women, aged 18–65 years, completed a written survey in English or Spanish at two healthcare clinics, one Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children office, and five County Extension nutrition education and outreach programs in Iowa. Less acculturated Latinas consumed beans more often, preferred dry to canned, bought in bulk, valued color and shape in dry bean selection, and held less positive attitudes toward canned beans in contrast to bicultural/more acculturated and non-Hispanic white women. Ethnicity and acculturation level have a role in varying purchase patterns and attitudes regarding dry and canned beans. Culturally-held differences should be considered in nutrition programs and leveraged to increase consumption and improve health.
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