Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Food Technology


Cason, Katherine L

Committee Member

Williams , Joel E

Committee Member

Haley-Zitlin , Vivian J

Committee Member

Coffee , Aubrey D

Committee Member

Mayo , Rachel M


From 1990 to 2000, South Carolina's Hispanic population increased 211%. Now, states such as South Carolina have the fastest growing Hispanic population in the U.S. Hispanics have a high incidence of obesity and related chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, hypertension and heart disease, these diseases could be avoided through diet. Meanwhile, nutrition education interventions help to reduce weight and to change behaviors, leading to better health. This study used qualitative and quantitative methods to examine Hispanics health and nutritional needs to develop a cultural compatible nutrition program for this audience. The qualitative methods explored predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors toward healthy eating. The quantitative methodology collected information of participants' socioeconomical characteristics, food purchasing behaviors, dietary intake, health, food security, food assistance and program participation and participants' anthropometrics. Findings from this study show the need for a nutrition educational interventions and programs targeted to this specific audience. As a result of this project, 'Celebrando la Salud', a nutrition education program for Hispanics was developed. The program includes seven lessons. Each lesson includes a presentation, hands-on activities and cooking demonstrations. The pilot test of this program showed that it is efficient on increasing nutrition knowledge and it helped to reshape the program for future interventions.