Food habits and dietary change of Southeast Asian refugee families living in the United States.
Food habits and changes in food consumption patterns were assessed among 60 Southeast Asian refugee families (Cambodian and Hmong) living in the United States. With the use of a structured interview schedule, in-home interviews were conducted by a Hmong or a Cambodian bilingual staff person with the adult having primary responsibility for family meal preparation. Results indicated that while food buying practices have changed drastically in the U.S., Southeast Asian refugee families have maintained strong ties to their native foods and traditional diets. In the U.S., as in Southeast Asia, rice remains the staple food in their diet. High status foods in Cambodia and Laos, such as fruits, meats, and soft drinks, remain highly preferred foods in the U.S. and are consumed frequently. Although most adults prefer eating their native foods, their children prefer both American and native foods. Thirty percent of the adolescents in the home had major responsibility for evening meal preparation.
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