Fruit and vegetable consumption of older Mexican-American women is associated with their acculturation level

Karen Y. Gregory-Mercado, Lisa K. Staten, James Ranger-Moore, Cynthia A. Thomson, Julie C. Will, Earl S. Ford, Jose Guillen, Linda K. Larkey, Anna R. Giuliano, James Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Little is known about the association between acculturation and fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption among older Mexican-American (MA) women. Environmental and lifestyles changes experienced by immigrants to the United States may markedly affect their diet and health and increase their risk for chronic diseases. Our objectives were to: 1) describe FV consumption by ethnicity, acculturation, and sociodemographic characteristics, and 2) compare effects of acculturation and sociodemographic variables on FV intake in a population of older MA and non-Hispanic White (NHW) women from the Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women Across the Nation (WISEWOMAN) Study. This report examines baseline FV intake of 346 underinsured women aged 50-76 years, assessed through 24-hour dietary recalls. Acculturation was measured with a five-item Likert-type scale. Twenty percent of more acculturated MA women, 24% of less acculturated MA women, and 36% of White women consumed ≥5 servings of FV servings per day. Fruit and vegetable (FV) intake was associated with acculturation, education, and smoking status. Being more acculturated was associated with lower consumption of FVs among MAs, while having a higher education and no smoking was associated with higher intakes of FV servings among NHWs. Public health efforts to improve the intake of FVs among MA women should be sensitive to their acculturation status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Eating behavior
  • Hispanic
  • Mexican American
  • Middle-aged women
  • Migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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