Development of a Food List to Assess the Diet of South Asians Living in the U.S. Preliminary Results From a Formative Study

Bridget Murphy Hussain, Samantha Harris, Sameera A. Talegawkar, Rupak Shivakoti, Farhan M. Mohsin, Rick Weiss, Niyati Parekh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: South Asians are an underrepresented population subgroup in the U.S., yet they have higher rates of chronic diseases. There is currently no tool that assesses the nutrition intake of South Asians in the U.S., despite their unique dietary profile that may be associated with disease outcomes. The objective of this preliminary study was to create a food list, inclusive of herbs and spices, that will be used in the development of the web-based South Asian Food Intake System for dietary assessment of South Asian adults living in the U.S. Methods: Authors used a Qualtrics survey to collect sociodemographic information (n=66), and 24-hour diet recall and Home Food Inventory interviews were conducted through Zoom (n=31). Grocery store tours and cookbook and existing food frequency questionnaire review were conducted. Results: A food list of 484 individual food items was generated. These items were sorted into 12 main food categories and condensed into 302 line items. Most respondents (68%) reported consuming South Asian meals regularly and utilizing herbs/spices during food preparation (83%). Conclusions: This pilot study describes the data collection to develop a food list for the South Asian Food Intake System, which can be utilized by educators, clinicians, and researchers to more accurately collect information about dietary intake among South Asian Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100073
JournalAJPM Focus
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Diet Assessment
  • Food Frequency Questionnaire
  • South Asian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Informatics
  • Epidemiology


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