Country of Birth and Language Are Uniquely Associated with Intakes of Fat, Fiber, and Fruits and Vegetables among Mexican-American Women in the United States

Jennifer Karas Montez, Karl Eschbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Previous research on the relationship between diet and acculturation among Hispanics has produced inconsistent results. This study examined the association between diet, country of birth, and a language acculturation scale among Mexican-American women. Design: The study used a cross-sectional design with data from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey and its Cancer Control Module. The module was administered to one adult per household and included 17 dietary intake questions. Subjects/setting: Subjects were 1,245 nonpregnant women of Mexican descent between 25 and 64 years of age residing in the United States who were interviewed in their homes. Statistical analysis performed: Least-squares regression with sampling weights and adjustment of standard errors for survey design effects was used to estimate the associations between country of birth, language acculturation, and percent energy from fat, intake of fiber, and intake of fruits and vegetables, with statistical control for age, education, and marital status. Results: In multivariate models, US-born women consumed fewer grams of fiber per day (β=-2.44; P<0.01) and a larger percentage of energy from fat (β=2.06; P<0.01) than Mexican-born women. Greater English language use was associated with decreased consumption of fiber (P<0.01), and a decline in fruit and vegetable intake with a greater decline for US-born (P<0.10). Conclusions: Acculturation is associated with several unfavorable dietary changes. Women who were born in the United States are at greater risk of declining dietary quality compared to Mexican-born women, and US-born English-speaking women have more unfavorable dietary profiles. Research and public health education concerning dietary intake should consider both country of birth and language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-480
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Volume108
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Mexican Americans
fat intake
Vegetables
Fruit
acculturation
dietary fiber
Language
vegetables
Fats
Acculturation
Parturition
fruits
vegetable consumption
fruit consumption
food intake
Diet
marital status
Social Adjustment
health education
nutritional adequacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Country of Birth and Language Are Uniquely Associated with Intakes of Fat, Fiber, and Fruits and Vegetables among Mexican-American Women in the United States. / Montez, Jennifer Karas; Eschbach, Karl.

In: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 108, No. 3, 03.2008, p. 473-480.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Objective: Previous research on the relationship between diet and acculturation among Hispanics has produced inconsistent results. This study examined the association between diet, country of birth, and a language acculturation scale among Mexican-American women. Design: The study used a cross-sectional design with data from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey and its Cancer Control Module. The module was administered to one adult per household and included 17 dietary intake questions. Subjects/setting: Subjects were 1,245 nonpregnant women of Mexican descent between 25 and 64 years of age residing in the United States who were interviewed in their homes. Statistical analysis performed: Least-squares regression with sampling weights and adjustment of standard errors for survey design effects was used to estimate the associations between country of birth, language acculturation, and percent energy from fat, intake of fiber, and intake of fruits and vegetables, with statistical control for age, education, and marital status. Results: In multivariate models, US-born women consumed fewer grams of fiber per day (β=-2.44; P<0.01) and a larger percentage of energy from fat (β=2.06; P<0.01) than Mexican-born women. Greater English language use was associated with decreased consumption of fiber (P<0.01), and a decline in fruit and vegetable intake with a greater decline for US-born (P<0.10). Conclusions: Acculturation is associated with several unfavorable dietary changes. Women who were born in the United States are at greater risk of declining dietary quality compared to Mexican-born women, and US-born English-speaking women have more unfavorable dietary profiles. Research and public health education concerning dietary intake should consider both country of birth and language.",
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