Kitchen Detective: What is in your kitchen?



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Studies reveal that accessibility and availability of foods available at home play a role in obesity status in children (Ludwig et al., 2001). Fewer studies have identified the impact of glycemic index levels (GILs) of foods that are available for Hispanic and African American (AA) children. The targeted populations are of great concern because of their increased risk for obesity and obesity-related diseases (Odgen et al., 2016). Purpose: To identify foods and GIL of those items within Hispanic and AA households, in the refrigerator, pantry, kitchen cabinets and countertops. Methods: 47 Hispanic and AA children completed a survey where they categorized foods in refrigerators, pantries, kitchen cabinets and countertops as healthy or unhealthy. Children also completed a demographic instrument which included items that assessed age, place of birth, education, ethnicity, etc. Results: Findings indicated foods in the refrigeration section were more accurately categorized as “healthy” by the children when assessing for GIL. In contrast, children’s reports of “healthy” foods in the pantry section had higher GIL. Cabinets and countertops results showed mostly high GIL foods in both categories. Interventions targeting overweight Hispanic and AA youth should consider teaching what constitutes a “healthy” food according to GIL.