Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (DCN)


Nutrition & Dietetics

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Nutrition & Dietetics

First Advisor

Dr. Lauri Wright

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrea Arikawa

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherri Lewis


One of the most important roles of the registered dietitian nutritionist is to provide medical nutrition therapy that is fitting to an individual’s culture, reality, ethnicity, and dietary preferences. A review of existing literature exposes the lack of information available on LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) health, for transgender communities. The purpose of this research was to generate knowledge of the nutrition-related problems and barriers to adequate nutrition and health, and their impact in nutrition assessment in a sample of Hispanic transgender adult patients living in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A retrospective observational study was conducted, data from 114 electronic health records was collected and evaluated. Qualitative data was analyzed to identify major and minor themes. Quantitative data was analyzed by a series of paired sample t-tests. Major themes emerged around food insecurity, body image, nutrition knowledge and food access. Barriers to food access, food programs and healthy eating were identified. Results of the study found that the most common diagnosis documented was Food and Nutrition Related Knowledge Deficit followed by Limited access to food. This study reported a significant improvement in goal and diagnosis status documented in electronic health records of transgender participants after receiving nutrition interventions. These findings provide a deeper understanding of nutrition-related problems of the transgender community and can be a useful tool in the development of specific practice guidelines for transgender and gender nonconforming patients.