Santa Clara Street Chat Case Study

About the Survey

The American Diabetes Association estimates the rate of diabetes among Latinos is nearly double that of non-Latino whites. Calling diabetes one of our greatest health risks, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that the total lifetime diabetes risk for the Latino population in the U.S. is nearly 1 in 2, compared to a 40% lifetime risk in the overall U.S. population. While higher rates of diabetes in the Latino population is a known issue, effective solutions for addressing this growing concern are not as well developed.

In partnership with the El Camino Hospital, CommunityConnect Labs sought out to better understand the attitudes and beliefs about what causes diabetes and prediabetes. We also wanted to uncover what and who motivates people to take action to improve their health. We conducted a survey of Latinos in San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale from November 2015 to February 2016 using text messaging to connect with hard-to-reach populations. Participants activated the survey by texting a code or a number from their mobile phones to a toll-free number. Both the code/question and toll-free number were printed on the paper flyers. A remote server then sent up to 160-character survey questions to participants’ mobile phones; participants answered by texting back their answers.

Research Highlight #1

Excessive Soda Consumption

Across all age, gender, and racial/ethnic groups, over half the people are drinking regular soda on a daily or more basis. Latinos are more likely to be daily soda drinkers. 56% of Latinos report consuming at least one regular soda a day. That figure rises to 64% for diabetics and to 70% among prediabetics. This comes to show that majority of people who have (pre)diabetes are still consuming regular soda on a daily basis.

How many cans of soda do you drink daily?
mobile text survey responses - soda consumption
San Jose resident

“I don’t drink things with sugar -- only water, hibiscus tea, horchata, or homemade lemonade.”

- Adriana, long-time resident of San Jose

Research Highlight #2

Tasty Recipes

When asked if they would be willing to try some sample tasty recipes, 83% of Latinos said yes. There was no significant difference across gender or across education level.

mobile text survey responses - tasty recipes

Research Highlight #3

mobile text survey responses - information channels
Channel for Information

The data also revealed key insights around preferences for receiving health information and messages. Video/YouTube is the most popular way participants prefer to get health messages, especially among younger Latinos. Email preference rises with a participant’s age.

"I like to get information through texting or video. Something quick, visual, and accessible on-the-go."

- Adriana, long-time resident of San Jose

Research Highlight #4

Messenger of Information

Latinos preferred to get health messages from a family member rather than a doctor. They are more likely to be motivated to eat better or exercise more by a family member than by a doctor. In fact, family members motivate about 60% of Latino participants.

Who motivates you to eat healthier?
mobile text survey responses - messenger of health information

Key Metrics

mobile text survey participants by race
mobile text survey participants by educational level
El Camino Hospital