Nativity is associated with sugar-sweetened beverage and fast-food meal consumption among mexican-origin women in Texas border colonias
1 Program for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX (USA
2 UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and Department of Nutrition, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC (USA
Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:101 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-101Published: 30 September 2011
Trends of increasing obesity are especially pronounced among Mexican-origin women. There is little understanding of dietary patterns among U.S.- and Mexico-born Mexican-origin individuals residing in new-destination immigrant communities in the United States, especially behaviors related to obesity, such as consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and fast-food meals (FFM).
The study used survey data of 599 adult Mexican-origin women from the 610 women who completed the 2009 Colonia Household and Community Food Resource Assessment (C-HCFRA), which was completed in person by trained promotora-researchers in 44 colonias near the Texas border towns of Progreso and La Feria. Data included demographic characteristics (age, education, nativity or country of birth, household income, household composition, and employment status), access to transportation, self-reported height and weight, food and nutrition assistance program participation, and consumption of SSB and FFM. Descriptive statistics were calculated by nativity (U.S.-born vs. Mexico-born); multivariable linear regression models were estimated for correlates of consumption of SSB and FFM.
There are three major findings related to nativity. First, U.S.-born women consumed more SSB and FFM than Mexican-born counterparts in the same areas of colonias. Second, in the combined sample and controlling for other population characteristics, being born in Mexico was independently associated with FFM (fewer FFM), but not with SSB. Third, in analyses stratified by nativity, FFM and SSB were associated with each other among both nativity groups. Among Mexico-born women only, age, presence of a child, or being a lone parent was significantly associated with SSB; full-time employment, being a lone parent, and SSB consumption were each independently associated with increased frequency of FFM.
Our analyses revealed differences in prevalence and correlates of SSB and FFM based on country of birth. Nativity, as a proxy for acculturation, may indicate the extent that immigrants have adopted behaviors from their new environment. However, nativity could also indicate limited accessibility to resources such as food/nutrition assistance programs, transportation, and proper documentation. Additionally, future research should focus on expanding our understanding of the meaning of nativity among individuals who share common contextual factors, but may have different life course experiences and resources needed to transition into a new place. Additional measures should be considered such as educational and occupational background, migration history, documentation status, and dietary acculturation, which may better explain heterogeneity within Hispanic subgroups.