Investigate the relationship between dietary acculturation and current self-rated health (SRH) among African immigrants, by country or region of origin.Design:
Cross-sectional, mixed-methods design using baseline data from longitudinal study of immigrants granted legal permanent residence May to November, 2003, and interviewed June, 2003 to June, 2004.Setting:
2003 New Immigrant Survey.Participants:
African immigrants from a nationally representative sample (n = 763) averaged 34.7 years of age and 5.5 years' US residency; 56.6% were male, 54.1% were married, 26.1% were Ethiopian, and 22.5% were Nigerian.Main Outcome Measure(s):
Current SRH (dependent variable) was measured using 5-point Likert scale questions; dietary acculturation (independent variable) was assessed using a quantitative dietary change scale.Analysis:
Multivariate logistic regression tested the relationship of dietary acculturation with current SRH (α = .05; P < .05 considered significant); exploratory qualitative subset dietary analysis (n = 60) examined food/beverages consumed pre-/post-migration.Results:
African immigrants reporting moderate dietary change since arrival in the US had higher odds of poorer SRH status than immigrants reporting low dietary change (odds ratio, 1.903; 95% confidence interval, 1.143–3.170; P = .01). Among most dietary change groups, there was an increase in fast food consumption and decrease in fruit and vegetable consumption.Conclusions and Implications:
Nutrition educators and public health practitioners should develop targeted nutrition education for African immigrants who are older, less educated, and at increased health risk.