Objective: To explore British African-Caribbean (AfC) nutrient intake by migration status (place of birth), diet (traditional Caribbean or more European) and age and relate this ecologically to coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality rates.
Setting: Inner-city Manchester, UK.
Subjects: Two hundred and fifty-five adults of AfC origin aged 25-79 years, randomly sampled from population registers.
Results: Caribbean-born people (mean age 56, and mean time in Britain 30 years) had significantly lower per cent energy from total and saturated fat than younger British-born AfC people (mean age 29 years) (31.3% vs. 35%, difference in total fat 3.7%, 95%CI 2-5%; in saturated fat 10.9% vs. 12.6%, difference 1.7%, 95%CI 1-2.5%). The Caribbean-born group also ate more fruit (+84g/day-1, 95%CI 36-132g/day-1) and green vegetables (+26 g/day-1, 95%CI 3-49 g/day-1). Men following a traditional diet (> or = 5 days week-1) similarly had a lower per cent energy from fat, at 30.4%, than less traditional eaters, at 33.1% (difference 2.7%, 95%CI 0.7-4.8%). African-Caribbean women, at relatively greater CHD risk than AfC men, had higher body mass indices (BMIs) than AfC men. Compared with national data, AfC subjects consumed some 7% and 5% less energy from total fat and saturated fat, respectively, with over 9% more from carbohydrate. However, there was marked convergence towards the national average in the youngest AfC groups aged 25-34 years, whatever their place of birth.
Conclusions: Caribbean birthplace has an independent effect on total fat intake and percentage of energy from fat. Together with higher fruit and vegetable intake, these results are consistent with the dietary fat/antioxidant/CHD hypothesis.