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      Acculturation, physical activity, and fast-food consumption among Asian-American and Hispanic adolescents.

      Journal of Community Health

      Food Habits, Acculturation, Adolescent, Asian Americans, psychology, statistics & numerical data, California, epidemiology, Child, Female, ethnology, Health Surveys, Hispanic Americans, Humans, Male, Motor Activity, Obesity, prevention & control, Socioeconomic Factors, Urban Population

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          Abstract

          Previous studies have implicated acculturation to the US as a risk factor for unhealthy behaviors among Hispanic and Asian-American adolescents, including substance use, violence, and unsafe sex. This study examined the association between acculturation and obesity-related behaviors-physical activity and fast-food consumption-among 619 Asian-American and 1385 Hispanic adolescents in Southern California. Respondents completed surveys in 6th and 7th grade. The 6th grade survey assessed acculturation with the AHIMSA acculturation scale and a measure of English language usage. The 7th grade survey assessed frequency of moderate-to-intense physical activity and frequency of eating fast-food. Multiple regression analyses included acculturation and demographic covariates as predictors of physical activity and fast-food consumption. Acculturation to the US, assessed in 6th grade, was significantly associated with a lower frequency of physical activity participation and a higher frequency of fast-food consumption in 7th grade. The significant associations persisted after controlling for covariates and were consistent across gender and ethnic groups. Results suggest that acculturation to the US is a risk factor for obesity-related behaviors among Asian-American and Hispanic adolescents. Health promotion programs are needed to encourage physical activity and healthy diets among adolescents in acculturating families.

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