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:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when ... Many customers choose to buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday ... don’t need to search the Internet high and low to find the best massage ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... American Express Travel Representative. As a franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value ... cruise, destination wedding packages, private cruise sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Omaha, NE (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... careers searched by healthcare professionals and offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical ... top during the month of October 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... process, participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference ... Sunday, November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with Women’s Web – an ... reader’s queries on topics on mental and emotional well-being relationship, life balance, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ... Global Cell Surface Testing Market: Supplier ... to their offering.  --> ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ... "Advanced Wound Care Market by Type (Dressings, Therapy ... User (In-Patient Facility, Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - Global ... --> --> The ... definition and forecast of the global advanced wound care ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ... ) has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. --> Research and ... of the "Self Administration of High Viscosity ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: