Submitted to: Nutrition and Health Status in the Lower Mississippi Delta of AR, LA, & MS
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Several factors have determined traditional Southern and specifically African-American foodways. Traditional foods have emerged from a culture rooted in African, Native American, and European influences. Education, region of the country, income, and family also have shaped the nature of traditional African-American foods. These foods denote spiritual and nutritional sustenance and have certain core elements. Few data are available specifically describing the food and nutrient intakes of residents of the lower Mississippi Delta area of Arkansas (AR), Louisiana (LA), and Mississippi (MS). Data on this subpopulation group came from the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) in AR and MS, as well as data on populations with demographic characteristics similar to those of residents of the lower Delta. Included are studies that describe food and nutrient intake of populations with the demographic characteristics: minority, age-specific, low-income, rural, and/or Southern. For AR EFNEP participants at entry, 58 to 86% of participants reported consuming less than 6 servings/day of bread and cereals. In MS, 60.4% consumed at that level. Compared to other regions, Southerners consumed, on average, less vegetables, fruits, and dairy products, and more legumes and beverages. African-Americans consumed less fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fats and oil, sugars and sweets, and beverages than whites. It was necessary to rely upon data from populations with demographic characteristics similar to the residents of the lower Delta. Little data specific to the Delta were available, making the need for a survey of food consumption imperative for nutrition intervention.