Background: Chinese individuals who have immigrated to a Western country initially tend to have a lower risk ofcardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to people who are already living there. Some studies have found, however,that CVD risk increases over time in immigrants and that immigration to a western country is associated withchanges in dietary patterns. This could have unfavourable effects on the risk of CVD. There is limited knowledge onthe food patterns, awareness and knowledge about healthy nutrition among Chinese immigrants. The objective forthis study is to explore changes in food patterns, and levels of awareness and knowledge of healthy nutrition bylength of residence among Chinese immigrants to Canada.Methods: 120 Chinese individuals born in China but currently living in Canada completed an assessment on sociodemographiccharacteristics, changes in dietary patterns and variables of awareness and knowledge about healthyfoods. With ordinal logistic regression the associations between the quartiles of length of residence and dietarypatterns, variables of awareness and knowledge about healthy foods were explored, adjusting for age, sex,education and body mass index.Results: More than 50% of the participants reported increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, decreasingthe use of deep-frying after immigration. Increased awareness and knowledge about healthy foods was reportedby more than 50% of the participants. Ordinal regression indicated that Chinese immigrants who lived in Canadathe longest, compared to Chinese immigrants who lived in Canada the shortest, consumed significant greaterportion sizes (OR: 9.9; 95% CI: 3.11 - 31.15), dined out more frequently (OR: 15.8; 95% CI: 5.0 - 49.85), and consumedconvenience foods more often (OR: 3.5; 95% CI: 1.23 - 10.01).Conclusions: Chinese immigrants reported some favourable changes in their dietary intake and greater awarenessand more knowledge about healthy foods after immigration. However, an increase in portion size, an increasedfrequency of dining out and an increased consumption of convenience foods could indicate some unfavourablechanges. These results suggest that health promotion strategies should build on the observed benefits ofimproved nutritional knowledge and target areas of portion size and convenience eating.
Rosenmöller et al. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011, 8:42
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Determinants of Changes in Dietary Patterns among Chinese Immigrants: A Cross-Sectional Analysis
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