Objectives: To identify dietary transition stages based on dietary patterns of adult Haitians having lived in Montreal for various lengths of time, and to assess associated dietary quality.
Subjects: One hundred and eighty-one Haitians aged 25-60 years were recruited by the modified random digit dialling method.
Design: Socio-economic, diet and lifestyle variables were documented by questionnaire. Three non-consecutive 24-hour dietary recalls were conducted over a 3-month period. Dietary patterns were studied using cluster analysis, and their association with proportion of lifetime in Canada and with socio-economic status (SES) was examined. Diet quality criteria were micronutrient adequacy and healthfulness based on dietary recommendations of the World Health Organization.
Results: Four dietary phenotypes were identified which could roughly represent stages of dietary transition or acculturation (Traditional, Pre-Western, Western and Modern). Subjects in the 'Traditional' cluster were older and had lived for a significantly lower proportion of their lifetime in Canada; they also tended to be of lower SES. Diet quality was significantly higher in the 'Traditional' than the 'Western' type, particularly with respect to healthfulness. A significantly lower proportion of subjects complying with limited intake of total fat ( < 30%) and cholesterol ( < 45%) was observed in the 'Western' compared with other diet phenotypes. Less than 15% of all subjects consumed enough dietary fibre, irrespective of diet type.
Conclusion: Dietary transition stages could be identified on the basis of food patterns of Haitians according to the proportion of their lifetime in Canada. Encouraging the youth to retain the traditional food culture in its positive aspects would appear relevant