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Studies reveal how acculturation affects the dietary patterns of non-US-born adolescents

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New studies reveal how acculturation is happening-; the process of assimilating into different cultures-; may affect the dietary patterns of adolescents migrating to the United States

Researchers have found that the shorter you are born outside the United States and live in the United States, the better the quality of your diet.Analysis also showed poor diet quality among all teens studied, regardless of where they were born or how long they stayed in the United States.

It is important to look at dietary acculturations, as teens can experience different acculturations than adults. For example, they may be susceptible to a group of peers. “


Alexandra L. MacMillan Uribe, PhD, RDN, Research Team Leader, Associate Professor of Texas A & M AgriLife Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture (IHA)

MacMillan Uribe will present its findings online at NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE, the flagship annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition, June 14-16.The study was also published at Nutrition Journal..

Other studies have found an association between acculturation in non-US-born adults and poor dietary quality, but little is known about the effects of acculturation in adolescence. A better understanding of the acculturation of the diet of this age group can be used to develop health programs that better meet their needs.

In a new study, researchers analyzed data from more than 6,000 adolescents aged 12 to 19 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2007 and 2018. Researchers obtained the origin and length of US residence information directly from NHANES, collected data, and used the dietary information collected by the study to calculate the Healthy Eating Index 2015 Component Score. This shows how closely a person follows key recommendations from American dietary guidelines.

Analysis shows that adolescents living in the United States but born in other countries consume more vegetables, fish and shellfish, plant protein and do not add sugar than adolescents born in the United States. Also, teens who have lived in the United States for less than 10 years ate a healthy diet. Than teens born in the United States or people who have lived in this country for over a decade. Among study participants born outside the United States, those who spend less time in the United States tended to eat more fruits and less saturated fat.

Researchers say that today’s dietary patterns are likely to be similar to those captured by NHANES data, but this may change in the future as immigration and dietary patterns in other countries change. It states.

“In general, it’s important to consider our findings when designing health promotion programs for teens,” says MacMillan Uribe. “For teens born outside the United States, the program can be adversely affected by longer living times in the United States, such as reducing fruit intake and eating more saturated fat-rich foods. You need to celebrate healthy traditional foods, paying special attention to some of your diets. “

Researchers use the findings to develop a health promotion program for teens born outside the United States and share the results with precision nutrition and responsive agricultural research leaders within IHA. We will provide information on their work. IHA is a research institute that combines precision nutrition, responsive agriculture, and behavioral research to reduce diet-related chronic illnesses in a way that takes into account environmental and economic impacts.

MacMillan Uribe This study will be presented on demand from noon on Tuesday, June 14th to NUTRITION2022LIVE ONLINE. Relationship between dietary patterns and behavior / social outcomes (Overview; Presentation details).

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