22 Jan

Fruit, Vegetable and Fat Intake

Diet

African Americans are disproportionately affected by obesity and obesity-related diseases, which are related, in part, to dietary factors. Nonetheless, studies evaluating dietary patterns among this population have been limited.

Smaller studies have reported poorer nutritional intake among African Americans compared with whites; African Americans consumed high-fat foods and foods with high caloric content but low nutritional value compared to whites.
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Data from national studies have provided a general picture regarding dietary patterns in African Americans. A study using the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES II) data reported that African Americans had lower intake of energy and fats but higher levels of dietary cholesterol than did whites. Studies using the NHANES III dataset reported similar energy intake by race but higher cholesterol levels in African Americans compared to whites. A study which examined trend data from the 1965, 1977-1978 and 1989-1991 Nationwide Food Consumption Surveys documented a change in dietary patterns by race and socioeconomic status (SES); in 1965, African Americans and whites of low SES had better diets (with respect to eight dietary domains) than did whites of higher SES. Although the gaps between the racial groups narrowed over time, African Americans and people with low incomes improved to a lesser degree than did whites and people with higher incomes.

The present study described current fruit, vegetable and fat intake by sociodemographic characteristics in African Americans using a population-based data source. Considering that data on dietary intake among this population is limited, these data should be useful for understanding dietary patterns and developing weight loss interventions.

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