Food, Culture, and Health in Mixed Raced and Multicultural Populations

Mosley, Michelle
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2015]
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The origins and history of race in the United States imposed an everlasting impact on the health and behaviors of various population groups. In particular, Mixed Race individuals faced oppression in various forms over time, including current exclusion from federal health analyses and reports despite legal inclusion requirements. Additionally, because of the melding of traditions and habits from diverse groups, it is important to determine how cultural influences impact daily food and activity practices today. This dissertation examined the health, dietary intake, and cultural beliefs and practices of Mixed Race and multicultural individuals. The first study of this dissertation was a secondary data analysis of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data on adults that aimed to examine the prevalence and odds of select diet-related chronic conditions in Mixed Race adults and highlight the failure of federal agencies to provide vital diet-related chronic condition statistics on Mixed Race individuals. Mixed Race individuals had greater prevalence and odds of the selected diet-related chronic conditions compared to White individuals, thus demonstrating the need for federal agencies to adhere to the existing legal guidelines when reporting on health and nutrition. The second study identified dietary patterns at two time points in a multicultural group of female adolescents living on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. Results of factor analyses indicated that dietary patterns were present in this population and changed over a two-year time period, but these patterns were not related to body mass index percentile. The final study of this dissertation identified the cultural beliefs and practices that influence the diet and physical activity habits of a multicultural group of female adolescents living on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. Interviews with adolescents and their mothers revealed cultural beliefs and practices regarding food purchasing practices, feeding practices, portion size practices, eating outside the home, body size perceptions, and exercise and activity practices. This dissertation provides information on health, dietary intake, and culture in Mixed Race and multicultural populations. Researchers can use this information to inform future work that can be used to develop successful programs and policies and equally distribute funding allocations among population groups of the United States.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
Mixed Race, culture, health, nutrition
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Human Nutrition,Food & Animal Sciences
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