Acculturation, Physical Activity, and Fast-Food Consumption Among Asian-American and Hispanic Adolescents

J Community Health. 2004 Dec;29(6):467-81. doi: 10.1007/s10900-004-3395-3.

Abstract

Previous studies have implicated acculturation to the US as a risk factor for unhealthy behaviors among Hispanic and Asian-American adolescents, including substance use, violence, and unsafe sex. This study examined the association between acculturation and obesity-related behaviors-physical activity and fast-food consumption-among 619 Asian-American and 1385 Hispanic adolescents in Southern California. Respondents completed surveys in 6th and 7th grade. The 6th grade survey assessed acculturation with the AHIMSA acculturation scale and a measure of English language usage. The 7th grade survey assessed frequency of moderate-to-intense physical activity and frequency of eating fast-food. Multiple regression analyses included acculturation and demographic covariates as predictors of physical activity and fast-food consumption. Acculturation to the US, assessed in 6th grade, was significantly associated with a lower frequency of physical activity participation and a higher frequency of fast-food consumption in 7th grade. The significant associations persisted after controlling for covariates and were consistent across gender and ethnic groups. Results suggest that acculturation to the US is a risk factor for obesity-related behaviors among Asian-American and Hispanic adolescents. Health promotion programs are needed to encourage physical activity and healthy diets among adolescents in acculturating families.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Asian Americans / psychology
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Population