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Am J Public Health. 1995 January; 85(1): 20–25.
PMCID: PMC1615282

Dietary intake among Mexican-American women: generational differences and a comparison with white non-Hispanic women.


OBJECTIVES. Although Mexican Americans consume diets that may protect them against adverse health, dietary advantages may disappear with increased acculturation. This study examined whether the nutrient intake of second-generation Mexican-American women of childbearing age deteriorates compared with that of first-generation Mexican-American women and approximates that of White non-Hispanic women. METHODS. Data on the absolute and relative intake of eight nutrients were obtained from a 24-hour recall and compared among 475 first-generation and 898 second-generation Mexican-American women, and among 2326 White non-Hispanic women. RESULTS. Although first-generation Mexican-American women were of lower socioeconomic status than were second-generation or White non-Hispanic women, they had a higher average intake of protein; vitamins A, C, and folic acid; and calcium than the other two groups. Whereas the mean adequacy ratio of the eight nutrients studied was highest in first-generation Mexican women, it was lowest in their second-generation counterparts. CONCLUSIONS. First-generation Mexican women stand a markedly lower risk of eating a poor diet than second-generation Mexican women, whose nutrient intake resembles that of White non-Hispanic women.

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Selected References

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