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Birthplace Is Associated with More Adverse Dietary Profiles for US-Born than for Foreign-Born Latino Adults


Duffey, Kiyah J.; Gordon-Larsen, Penny; Ayala, Guadalupe X.; & Popkin, Barry M. (2008). Birthplace Is Associated with More Adverse Dietary Profiles for US-Born than for Foreign-Born Latino Adults. Journal of Nutrition, 138(12), 2428-2435.


Our objective was to examine the association between ethnicity and birthplace and the percent of energy from selected food groups among Hispanics, the largest growing segment of the US population. We used data from NHANES 1999-2004, collected from Mexican (n = 3375) and other Hispanic (n = 622) adults (18 y and older), classified as foreign born (FB) or US born (USB). Using University of North Carolina's food-grouping system, we created 24 nutrient- and behavioral-based food groups. We examined percent consuming and per-consumer estimates using logistic and linear regression models, respectively. Predicted mean energy was estimated using marginal effect models. All models were controlled for gender, age, income, and education and were weighted to account for sampling design. FB Hispanics obtained more energy from food groups such as legumes, fruits, and low-fat/high-fiber breads, with differences accounted for by a greater percent consuming these foods rather than higher energy intake among consumers. Conversely, FB Hispanics consumed a lower percentage of energy from foods such as non-Mexican fast food and snacks and desserts. Speaking Spanish also was associated with greater consumption of legumes, rice, fruits, soups, and potatoes. Variation in diet may in part account for the difference in nutrition-related adverse health outcomes observed among USB Hispanics, particularly Mexicans. Targeted dietary interventions are needed to reduce health disparities associated with dietary intake.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Nutrition


Duffey, Kiyah J.
Gordon-Larsen, Penny
Ayala, Guadalupe X.
Popkin, Barry M.