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Neighbourhood ethnic composition and diet among Mexican-Americans

  • Carlos A Reyes-Ortiz (a1), Hyunsu Ju (a2), Karl Eschbach (a3), Yong-Fang Kuo (a2) and James S Goodwin (a2)...

Abstract

Objectives

We explore the association between a neighbourhood’s ethnic composition and the foods and nutrients consumed by Mexican-Americans.

Design

Cross-sectional survey of a large national sample, from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988–94), was linked to the 1990 Census. The outcomes were food frequencies and serum levels of micronutrients. The variable of interest was percentage of Mexican-Americans at the census tract level.

Setting

United States.

Subjects

A total of 5306 Mexican-American men and women aged 17–90 years.

Results

Increased percentage of Mexican-Americans at the census tract level was associated with less consumption of fruits, carrots, spinach/greens and broccoli and with lower serum levels of Se, lycopene, α-carotene, vitamin C and folate. By contrast, increased percentage of Mexican-Americans at the census tract level was associated with more consumption of corn, tomatoes, hot red chilli peppers and legumes such as beans, lentils or chickpeas.

Conclusions

An increased percentage of Mexican-Americans at the census tract level was associated with less consumption of selective foods (e.g. some fruits, broccoli) and low levels of serum Se or vitamin C, but it was associated with more consumption of other foods (e.g. legumes, tomatoes, corn products) that may have positive effects on health in this population.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email creyes@hsc.unt.edu

References

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Keywords

Neighbourhood ethnic composition and diet among Mexican-Americans

  • Carlos A Reyes-Ortiz (a1), Hyunsu Ju (a2), Karl Eschbach (a3), Yong-Fang Kuo (a2) and James S Goodwin (a2)...

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