Latino im/migrants, “dietary health” and social exclusion: A critical examination of nutrition interventions in California

Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, Megan A. Carney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


In this article, we highlight findings from ethnographic research on dietary health interventions with low-income Latino im/migrant populations in the Central Coast of California. We discuss the assumptions underpinning different models of nutrition intervention and education, as well as what these assumptions suggest about common perceptions of Latino im/migrant dietary health and knowledge. We demonstrate how interventions contribute to further marginalization of Latino im/migrants by positioning them as either helpless, unknowing subjects or as freeloading dependents of the state. We argue that Latino im/migrants are systematically denied power as they are consistently beseeched to assume more responsibility for their own dietary health problems. We contend that the implications of these interventions reinforce extant structures of social exclusion encountered by Latino im/migrants, while also failing to offer lasting solutions to food insecurity in Latino im/migrant communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-480
Number of pages18
JournalFood, Culture and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015



  • Food assistance
  • Im/migrant food insecurity
  • Latino/a health
  • Nutrition education
  • Social exclusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies

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