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Appetite. 2016 Feb 1;97:87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.11.014. Epub 2015 Nov 19.

Relative validity of a tool to measure food acculturation in children of Mexican descent.

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Department of Medicine and Nutrition, University of Guanajuato, Blvd. Puente del Milenio #1001 Fracción del Predio de San Carlos, León, 37670, Guanajuato, México. Electronic address:
Emeritus-University of California, Lopez Consulting, 1595 Kathryn Lane, Bellingham, 98229, WA, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, 95616, CA, USA. Electronic address:


The purpose of this study was to examine relative validity of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) to measure food acculturation in young Mexican-origin children. In 2006, Spanish-speaking staff interviewed mothers in a community-based sample of households from Ventura, California (US) (n = 95) and Guanajuato, Mexico (MX) (n = 200). Data included two 24-h dietary recalls (24-DR); a 30-item FFQ; and anthropometry of the children. To measure construct, convergent, and discriminant validity, data analyses included factor analysis, Spearman correlations, t-test, respectively. Factor analysis revealed two constructs: 1) a US food pattern including hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, fried chicken, juice, cereal, pastries, lower fat milk, quesadillas, and American cheese and 2) a MX food pattern including tortillas, fried beans, rice/noodles, whole milk, and pan dulce (sweet bread). Out of 22 food items that could be compared across the FFQ and mean 24-DRs, 17 were significantly, though weakly, correlated (highest r = 0.62, for whole milk). The mean US food pattern score was significantly higher, and the MX food pattern score, lower in US children than in MX children (p < 0.0001). After adjusting for child's age and gender; mother's education; and household size, the US food pattern score was positively related to body mass index (BMI) z-scores (beta coefficient: +0.29, p = - 0.004), whereas the MX food pattern score was negatively related to BMI z-scores (beta coefficient: -0.28, p = 0.002). This tool may be useful to evaluate nutrition education interventions to prevent childhood obesity on both sides of the border.


Children; Food patterns; Immigrant; Mexican; Validation

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