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Public Health Nutr. 2005 Oct;8(7):904-11.

Dietary intakes and health-related behaviours of Korean American women born in the USA and Korea: the Multiethnic Cohort Study.

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Cancer Etiology Program, Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA.



This study assessed and compared heath-related behaviours and nutrient and food group intakes between US-born and Korea-born Korean American women.


Cross-sectional analyses were performed for ethnic Koreans who participated in the Multiethnic Cohort Study in Hawaii and Los Angeles in 1993-1996. The sample included 492 Korean American women aged 45-75 years who were born in the USA (n = 274) or Korea (n = 218). Participants were recruited using driver's license files as a primary sampling source and completed a self-administered questionnaire, including a quantitative food frequency section.


The proportion overweight or obese was 31.4% in US-born and 9.4% in Korea-born women. US-born women had higher intakes of total fat and fat as a percentage of energy, and lower intakes of sodium, vitamin C, beta-carotene and carbohydrate as a percentage of energy, than Korea-born women. Comparing intakes of food group servings from the Food Guide Pyramid, US-born women reported more whole grains, red meat and nuts, and less soy products, than did Korea-born women. US-born women also consumed fewer vegetables and fruit than those born in Korea. Few women in either group reported intakes that met the recommendations for dairy foods. Intake of discretionary fat from the Pyramid tip was higher in US-born than in Korea-born women.


These findings indicate that the acculturation of Korean immigrants affects dietary intakes in ways that may alter risks of several chronic diseases. Further studies will be necessary to examine the effects of dietary acculturation on disease patterns.

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