Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Acculturation, weight status, and eating habits among Chinese-American preschool children and their primary caregivers: A pilot study

Authors
item Demory-Luce, Debby
item Morales, Miriam - BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MED
item Nicklas, Theresa

Submitted to: Nutrition Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 20, 2004
Publication Date: March 1, 2005
Citation: Demory-Luce, D.K., Morales, M., Nicklas, T. 2005. Acculturation, weight status, and eating habits among Chinese-American preschool children and their primary caregivers: A pilot study. Nutrition Research. 25(3):213-224.

Interpretive Summary: Understanding acculturation, eating habits, and weight status of Chinese-American children is critical for more effective targeting, delivering, and monitoring of nutrition programs. Because of the large influx of Chinese-Americans into the United States, we can no longer ignore the health needs, including obesity and obesity-related diseases (e.g., type 2 diabetes) of this understudied population. Acculturation, eating habits, and weight status were measured in over 50 Chinese-American children and their primary caregivers. Of the food consumed at home, 43% reflected Chinese food, 26% reflected American food, and 31% reflected a combination of both Chinese and American foods. For American foods consumed at home, 19% were desserts, 14% were sweetened beverages, and 11% were breads. Continued research is needed to assess the health status and lifestyle of Chinese-American families in a much larger epidemiological study so that the needs of this select population can be understood and addressed.

Technical Abstract: This study investigated acculturation, eating habits, and weight status among 53 Chinese-American children and their primary caregivers. Caregivers’ mean acculturation score was 2.1, indicating low acculturation. Caregivers’ mean body mass index (BMI) was 23.3; 21% were overweight (BMI is greater than or equal to 25). Children’s mean BMI was 16.6; 17% were overweight (BMI is greater than or equal to 95th percentile). The food groups most commonly consumed at the childcare center were dairy (15%), mixed dishes (15%), fruits (13%), 100% fruit juice (13%), and vegetables (11%). Of the food groups consumed at home, 43% reflected Chinese food, 26% reflected American food, and 31% reflected food that were shared by both cultures. Of the Chinese food, 26% were mixed dishes, 23% were bread, 16% were vegetables, 11% were meat, and 11% were soup. For American food consumed at home, 19% were desserts, 14% were sweetened beverages, and 11% were bread. Understanding acculturation, eating habits, and weight status of Chinese-American families is critical for designing and monitoring nutrition programs for this under studied population.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page