Acculturation and diet among Chinese American immigrants in New York City

Lindsey Kirshner, Stella S. Yi, Judith Wylie-Rosett, Nirupa R. Matthan, Jeannette M. Beasley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There are limited data on the social and cultural determinants of dietary intake in Chinese Americans. Over 560,000 New York City residents are Chinese American, and there has been a growing trend over the past 30 y of permanent migration from China to the USA. Objective: The purpose of this secondary data analysis is to describe associations between diet, measured by self-report, and diet quality, with level of acculturation in a cross-sectional sample of urban-dwelling Chinese American immigrants. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving 2071 foreign-born Chinese American adults. Acculturation was assessed using the Stephenson Multigroup Acculturation Scale, diet using a Chinese-adapted FFQ, and diet quality using the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI). Multivariable regression was used to assess associations between ethnic (ESI; Chinese) and dominant (DSI; American) society immersion scores with self-reported dietary measures. Results: No significant associations were found between acculturation and overall AHEI score. Higher ESI and DSI scores were associated with higher vegetable, fruit, and nut/legume scores; a higher DSI score only was associated with higher whole grain and PUFA scores. A 1-unit increase in the ESI score was associated with a 0.005 (P = 0.009) lower red and processed meat component score, whereas a 1-unit increase in DSI score was associated with a 0.01 (P = 0.025) higher red and processed meat component score. Conclusions: Assessment of acculturation level may help to tailor dietary strategies that are appropriate to what Chinese American immigrant communities are consuming to more effectively decrease the risk of chronic disease. Curr Dev Nutr 2019;4:nzz124.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbernzz124
JournalCurrent Developments in Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Acculturation
  • Chinese Americans
  • Diet quality
  • Dietary acculturation
  • Urban health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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