Dietary pattern change and acculturation of Chinese Americans in Pennsylvania

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167 Scopus citations


Objective To obtain information about dietary pattern change of Chinese Americans in Pennsylvania and its relationship with demographic characteristics and acculturation indicators. Design A cross-sectional self-administered survey. Subjects A convenience sample of 399 Chinese Americans. Statistical analyses performed t Tests, analysis of variance with Tukey post-hoc tests, Spearman rank correlation, and χ2 test. Results After immigration, Chinese Americans increased consumption frequency of all seven food groups (grains, vegetables, fruits, meat/meat alternatives, dairy products, fats/sweets, and beverages) and Western foods while consumption frequency of traditional Chinese foods decreased. Dietary variety also increased after immigration. Higher education and higher income levels were associated with a larger increase in consumption frequency of grains, vegetables, and fruits. Persons who resided in the United States for a longer period of time shared a greater increase in their consumption frequencies of vegetables, fats/sweets, and beverages. Persons with better English proficiency had a greater increase in their consumption frequency of grains, fruits, meat/meat alternatives, and fats/sweets. Conclusions This study can help nutrition educators design appropriate educational programs for first-generation Chinese Americans that can facilitate the adoption of more healthful dietary practices. Nutrition educators should consider the dietary changes of Chinese-American participants, such as skipping breakfast and increased consumption frequency of fats, sweets, and soft drinks, which were observed in this study. For example, acculturated first-generation Chinese Americans should be encouraged to decrease fats, sweets, and soft-drink consumption. Less-acculturated persons should be encouraged to maintain their healthful dietary pattern and increase consumption of vegetables and fruits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-778
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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