Diet, psychosocial factors related to diet and exercise, and cardiometabolic conditions in Southern Californian Native Hawaiians

Hawaii Med J. 2010 May;69(5 Suppl 2):16-20.


Objective: Native Hawaiians are at higher risk for cardiometabolic disease, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease compared with other ethnic groups. Diet, body mass index (BMI) and psychosocial, as well as cultural issues may influence risk for cardiometabolic disease. Our team conducted a community-based participatory research study and examined diet, height/weight, psychosocial factors, and community health concerns in Native Hawaiians living in Southern California.

Design and methods: Cross-section of 55 participants, <18-years-old. Dietary data were collected via three 24-hr dietary recalls, anthropometrics were measured, and psychosocial factors and cardiometabolic conditions were self-reported. Talk story related to diet and health was completed in a sub-sample. Means and frequencies were calculated on dietary intakes, cardiometabolic disease and BMI. Independent t-test and chi square analyses, as appropriate, were performed to assess differences in dietary intakes, obesity and psychosocial factors between those with and without a pre-existing cardiometabolic condition.

Results: Of those with pre-existing health conditions (n=28), 72% reported being diagnosed with a cardiometabolic condition. For those with pre-existing cardiometabolic conditions, the daily vegetable consumption was 2.57 servings (+/-1.66) and the mean fruit consumption was 1.43 servings (+/-0.1.99). The mean fiber intake was 16.24 grams (+/-6.92), the mean percentage energy from fat was 34.82% (+/-6.40) and the mean % energy from carbohydrate was 47.15 (+/-6.77). The psychosocial data showed significantly (p<0.05) lower social support, social interaction, self-monitoring and cognitive-behavioral strategies related to exercise for those with cardiometabolic disease compared with those without disease. All the talk story discussion groups expressed concern over diabetes and weight management, both as an individual and community issue.

Conclusions: The dietary data indicate that Native Hawaiians residing in Southern California should aim to increase their vegetable, fiber, and reduce % energy from fat and saturated fat. Additionally, the psychosocial data suggests that implementing physical activity programs based on socio-cultural values such as ohana, community gatherings, as well as individual self-monitoring and cognitive-behavioral strategies may improve cardiometabolic outcomes. In efforts to reduce cardiometabolic disease disparity, these data suggest that Native Hawaiians in Southern California are aware and concerned about cardiometabolic disease in the community, and that implementation of an effective energetic (diet plus physical activity) intervention that is socially, and culturally specific for Native Hawaiians in Southern California is critical.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Culture
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology
  • Diet / ethnology*
  • Diet / psychology
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology
  • Female
  • Hawaii / ethnology
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander / psychology*
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Prevalence
  • Qualitative Research
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Social Support
  • South Carolina / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires