Dietary acculturation among Oregon Latinos : factors affecting food choice Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8049g957b

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  • This study sought to examine food choice motives and influences among Oregon Latinos to gain a greater understanding of their dietary acculturation. Previous studies relying principally on quantitative methods to assess the relationship between acculturation and diet have reported inconsistent results, though a general decline in diet quality is reported with increased acculturation. In contrast, this research used quantitative and qualitative methods and revealed some positive dietary changes with increased acculturation. Quantitative surveys were used to collect data on frequency of consuming traditional Mexican foods versus mainstream American foods among self-identified Latino parents and their 10-13 year old children. Interviews were then conducted to elicit influential factors on making traditional Mexican vs. mainstream American food choices. Data from the surveys suggest that parents are consuming traditional Mexican foods at a higher frequency than the children and the children are consuming mainstream American foods at a higher frequency than the parents. The interviews elicited themes that included: preference for Mexican foods, a value for ethnic identity, perceptions for valuing both Mexican and mainstream American foods, a preference for fresh, homemade food, ease of maintaining Mexican foods upon immigration, acculturation impact upon food choice, family and social network influences, increased health knowledge, and heavy is healthy. The qualitative piece of the study suggests dietary acculturation is highly complex and qualitative methods may prove worthwhile in achieving clarity in understanding of the process.
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