A recent report by Drs. Arch Mainous, Vanessa Diaz, and Mark Geesey
from the Department of Family Medicine indicates that acculturation to the American lifestyle by Latinos may be associated with less healthy eating habits.
Because Latinos have a high prevalence of diabetes and a disproportionately high rate of diabetic complications, researchers examined the association of acculturation on healthy lifestyle habits among Latinos with diabetes in the United States. Records of Latino adults with previously diagnosed diabetes were selected from data from the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination. Healthy lifestyle habits were defined as those consistent with recommendations of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) regarding exercise, smoking, obesity, and diet. Acculturation was measured with the Short Acculturation Scale, a validated 5-item scale assessing use of the Spanish language. Compared with their less-acculturated counterparts, more-acculturated individuals had higher fiber intake and lower saturated fat intake. The proportion of individuals who smoked did not differ.
Researchers concluded that acculturation among diabetic Latinos to the general US culture is associated with adoption of some less desirable dietary habits.
Mainous Arch G; Diaz Vanessa A; Geesey Mark E
Acculturation and healthy lifestyle among Latinos with diabetes.
Annals of family medicine. 2008;6(2):131-7.