Abstract P030: Traditional Cultural Beliefs and Length of Residence in the United States are Associated With Dietary Intakes Among South Asians
Background: Studies of immigrants in the United States (U.S.) have shown mixed consequences of acculturation on diet and health outcomes. Detailed investigations examining diets of South Asians in the U.S. are lacking.
Objective: To examine whether nutrient and food intakes among South Asians differ by traditional cultural beliefs and length of residence in the U.S.
Methods: Cross-sectional analyses of data collected from 890 South Asians [mean age (SD): 55(9) y; 47% women] who were part of the Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) Study. Dietary data were collected using an interviewer administered, validated, culturally appropriate food frequency questionnaire. Acculturation status was assessed by a South Asian traditional cultural beliefs scale which was categorized by tertiles as weak, moderate and strong beliefs, and by length of U.S. residence also categorized using tertiles. We computed daily adjusted mean intakes of selected nutrients across the traditional cultural beliefs and length of U.S. residence tertiles using ANCOVA. Final models were adjusted for age, sex, education, and daily energy intake. Differences in the consumption of foods and food groups (servings/week) between the groups were examined using the Kruskal-Wallis test.
Results: Length of residence [mean 27 (10.8) y] in the U.S was directly associated with traditional cultural beliefs (P<0.001). Higher daily intakes of total fat, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol were associated with weak traditional cultural beliefs and a longer length of residence in the U.S. Higher daily intakes of energy, carbohydrate, glycemic index and load, and protein were associated with strong traditional beliefs and a shorter length of residence in the U.S (P for trend <0.05). Weak traditional cultural beliefs and/or a longer length of residence in the U.S. were associated with higher weekly intakes of alcoholic beverages, meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, mixed dishes such as pizza and pasta, fats and oils, and lower intakes of beans and lentils, breads, grains and flour products, fried foods, milk and dairy products, nuts, rice and rice preparations and starchy vegetables (P for differences across groups <0.05).
Conclusions: Cultural beliefs and length of residence in the U.S. both influence dietary intakes of South Asian immigrants. Unlike other immigrants, more acculturation in South Asians is associated with higher intakes of fat and animal protein and lower intakes of refined carbohydrates. These factors should therefore be considered when investigating and planning dietary interventions among South Indians to mitigate chronic disease risk.
Author Disclosures: S.A. Talegawkar: None. N.R. Kandula: None. M.D. Gadgil: None. D. Desai: None. A.M. Kanaya: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.