Dietary Patterns and Years Living in the United States by Hispanic/Latino Heritage in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL)

J Nutr. 2021 Sep 4;151(9):2749-2759. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab165.


Background: Previous diet findings in Hispanics/Latinos rarely reflect differences in commonly consumed and culturally relevant foods across heritage groups and by years lived in the United States.

Objectives: We aimed to identify and compare a posteriori heritage-specific dietary patterns (DPs) and evaluate their associations with "healthfulness" [using the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010)] and years living in the United States.

Methods: We used baseline data from a population-based cohort of 14,099 Hispanics/Latinos aged 18-74 y in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. We performed principal factor analysis using two 24-h recalls to derive DPs, separately, in each heritage group (Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Central American, and South American), and identified overarching DPs based on high-loading foods shared by ≥2 groups. We used multivariable linear regression to test associations of DPs with AHEI-2010 and years living in the United States.

Results: We identified 5 overarching DPs (Burgers, Fries, & Soft Drinks; White Rice, Beans, & Red Meats; Fish; Egg & Cheese; and Alcohol). All Burgers, Fries, & Soft Drinks DPs were inversely associated with AHEI-2010, whereas all Fish DPs (except Dominican) were positively associated with this index (all P-trend < 0.001). White Rice, Beans, & Red Meats DPs showed inverse associations in Cuban and Central American groups and positive associations in Mexican-origin individuals (all P-trend < 0.001). Fewer years living in the United States was associated with higher scores for White Rice, Beans, & Red Meats DPs in Cuban and Mexican heritage groups and lower scores on Burgers, Fries, & Soft Drinks DPs in Cuban, Mexican, and Puerto Rican groups (all P-trend < 0.01).

Conclusions: Our findings show substantial variation in DPs across Hispanics/Latinos and adherence to DPs by time in the United States, which could inform dietary interventions targeting this diverse US population. This trial was registered at as NCT02060344.

Keywords: HCHS/SOL; Hispanics/Latinos; a posteriori; diet; dietary acculturation; dietary patterns; heritage; nativity; principal factor analysis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Diet
  • Diet, Healthy
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Public Health*
  • Puerto Rico
  • Risk Factors
  • United States

Associated data