Navigation Links
Immigrants Eat American Junk Food to Fit In: Study

FRIDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- After moving to the United States, immigrant groups trying to fit in tend to choose high-calorie, fatty foods in an attempt to appear more American, a new study finds.

That's one reason why immigrants approach U.S. levels of obesity within 15 years of moving to America, according to research in the June issue of Psychological Science.

Researchers surveyed Asian-American and white college students about embarrassing childhood food memories. Although 68 percent of the Asian-American respondents recalled food-related insecurities, such as awkwardness about using chopsticks, only 27 percent of white respondents recalled any embarrassing food practices.

The researchers also did an experiment that measured whether or not the threat of appearing un-American influenced respondents' food choices.

After being questioned about their ability to speak English, 75 percent of Asian-Americans identified a typical American food as their favorite. Only 25 percent of Asian-Americans who had not been asked if they spoke English did the same.

White participants' lists of favorite foods did not differ whether the experimenter asked if they spoke English.

When their American identity was called into question during a follow-up study, Asian-American participants also tended to choose typical American dishes, such as hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches, over more Asian fare.

In that experiment, 55 Asian-Americans were asked to choose a meal from a local Asian or American restaurant. Some participants were told that only Americans could participate in the study.

Those who chose the more typical American fare ended up consuming an extra 182 calories, including 12 grams of fat and seven grams of saturated fat.

"People who feel like they need to prove they belong in a culture will change their habits in an attempt to fit in," said Sapna Cheryan, an author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Washington, in a journal news release. "If immigrants and their children choose unhealthy American foods over healthier traditional foods across their lives, this process of fitting in could lead to poorer health," Cheryan added.

Social pressures, the study concluded, are at the heart of the problem. "In American society today, being American is associated with being white. Americans who don't fit this image even if they were born here and speak English feel that pressure to prove that they're American," said Cheryan.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on obesity in America.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Association for Psychological Science, news release, May 3, 2011

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Physicians call for better access to health care for immigrants
2. Mexican Immigrants to U.S. Prone to Depression, Anxiety Disorders
3. Younger immigrants adjust to a new culture faster than do older immigrants
4. Mexican immigrants health declines as they assimilate to America
5. Culturally sensitive treatment model helps bring depressed Chinese immigrants into treatment
6. Crossborder Services, LLC Offers Insurance Options for Visitors and New Immigrants to USA
7. Immigrants with disabilities more frequently employed than US-born persons with disabilities
8. Number of Americans With Asthma Keeps Rising
9. Fatting in: Immigrant groups eat high-calorie American meals to fit in
10. Christos Mantzoros honored by Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology
11. Americans May Not Consume Enough Calcium: Study
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The American Society for Clinical Pathology ... World AIDS Day 2015. On Nov. 30, ASCP shared its “Give a minute. Get ... AIDS Day and the importance of getting tested for HIV. , ASCP has asked ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... While powdered ... results in wasted time. Fortunately, an inventor from Chesterfield, Va., has found an easy ... to keep the scoop used to measure powdered contents in a canister or other ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... to its industry-leading suite of automated breast density assessment and enterprise analytics ... meeting, November 29-December 4, 2015 (South Hall booth #2377). Volpara’s quantitative breast ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... for “Value-Based Payer-Provider Partnerships: Three Case Studies,” an upcoming Dec. 8 virtual ... Essentia Health and UCare, MissionPoint Health Partners, and Intel Corp. Leaders from ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Insightra Medical, Inc. ... Surgical Mesh technology for soft tissue repair in the US via Insightra’s national ... resorbable surgical mesh intended to support and reinforce soft tissue for 6-9 months ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Belgium , Nov. 30, 2015   VolitionRx ... on developing blood-based diagnostic tests for a broad range of ... present at the LD Micro Conference, which will be held ... Attending from VolitionRx will be David Kratochvil ... , Vice President of Investor Relations. ® ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Israel , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... on acquiring and developing innovative therapies for ear, nose, ... Keith A. Katkin as chairman of the ... , chief executive officer for OticPharma, Ltd.  "Keith brings ... chairman, he will be able to share this experience ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... 29, 2015   Royal Philips  (NYSE: PHG, AEX: ... at the 2015 Radiological Society of North America Annual ... Place in Chicago . Visitors to ... company,s broad portfolio of integrated Diagnostic Imaging, Clinical Informatics, ... clinical performance, improve workflow and create a superior patient ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: