J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2020 Sep 17. doi: 10.1007/s40615-020-00866-9. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate perspectives of diabetes, nutrition, and health among underrepresented Mexican-origin males and elucidate on contributing factors of type 2 diabetes disparities.
RESEARCH DESIGN: Audio-recorded, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 native Spanish-speaking, Mexican-origin males. Men were between the ages of 40 and 64 and at risk for type 2 diabetes-defined as > 40 years of age, BMI > 25, and sedentary over the last 3 months. Data collected included clinical measures (height, weight, waist circumference, blood pressure) and demographic characteristics (years living in the U.S., marital status, employment, occupational physical activity, income, educational attainment, and average physical activity levels). The audio recordings, each lasting approximately 60 min, were transcribed verbatim and underwent three-cycle coding with analysis for codebook formation, categorization, and thematic extraction.
RESULTS: Barriers to engaging in health behaviors among Mexican-origin males include poor understanding of diabetes and nutrition, unreliable sources of health information, and socioeconomic status. Enablers of health neglect include intense perceptions of diabetes severity and a reactive health culture rooted in medical machismo and valemadrismo. Perspectives of personal responsibility and the desire to learn through culturally specific recommendations detail potential facilitators of health behaviors.
CONCLUSION: The data convey a network of sociocultural factors that inhibit health prioritization and promote disease misconceptions among Mexican-origin males. Pragmatic, culturally tailored education represents serviceable strategies for health promotion and diabetes prevention. These findings explicate cultural considerations for educators and clinicians seeking optimization of programs and clinical interactions with Mexican-origin men.