U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Culture and Diet Among Chinese American Children Aged 9–13 Years: A Qualitative Study

Cassandra S. Diep, Randall Leung, Debbe I. Thompson, Beverly J. Gor, Tom Baranowski
Journal of nutrition education and behavior 2017 v.49 no.4 pp. 275-284.e1
acculturation, breakfast, caregivers, children, cooking, diet, dinner, food choices, foods, interviews, lunch, models, parents, restaurants, schools, socioeconomic status
To examine Chinese American children's behaviors, food preferences, and cultural influences on their diet.Qualitative individual interviews using constructs from the proposed model of dietary acculturation.Community centers and Chinese schools in Houston, TX.Twenty-five Chinese American children aged 9–13 years.Diet, favorite restaurants, and parents' cooking and grocery shopping habits.Content analysis and thematic data analysis to identify code categories and themes. Coders also identified patterns based on demographic and acculturation factors.Overall, participants described their diets and associated behaviors as Asian and non-Asian. Key themes included preference for Asian and non-Asian foods; consumption of non-Asian foods for breakfast and lunch, but Asian foods for dinner; infrequent dining at restaurants; grocery shopping at Asian and non-Asian stores; and familial influences on diet. Acculturated children and children of higher socioeconomic status appeared to prefer and consume a more Westernized/non-Asian diet.Results illustrate that Chinese American children in this study practiced both Asian and non-Asian dietary behaviors. Findings corroborated existing acculturation research with parents and caregivers; supported constructs in the model of dietary acculturation; and provide guidance for research and programs related to dietary behaviors, determinants, and culture among this population.