Food frequency intakes and sociodemographic factors of elderly Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites

A. M. Bartholomew, E. A. Young, H. W. Martin, H. P. Hazuda

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A food frequency survey of 254 low-income, elderly (aged 60 to 96), free-living Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites was conducted as part of a larger study of the adjustment and health of older persons residing in a San Antonio barrio. Weekly intakes of selected foods were determined using the food frequency questionnaire from the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We used t-tests to determine significance of difference in frequency of food consumption by ethnicity. The variance in consumption of selected foods was estimated with multiple regression analysis for the independent variables marital status, age, sex, education level, income, birthplace, and ethnicity. Ethnicity was the major variable influencing food intake. There were significant differences (p≤.05) between ethnic groups: Mexican Americans consumed eggs, poultry, legumes, organ meats, avocados/olives, flour tortillas, and sugar more frequently than non-Hispanic whites; they also used saturated fats in cooking more frequently than non-Hispanic whites; and they consumed skim milk, ice cream/ice milk, beef, all fruits or juices, all vegetables, breads, and oil/margarine less frequently than non-Hispanic whites. The results suggest that ethnicity plays a major role in predicting dietary patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1693-1696
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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