• diet quality;
  • dietary acculturation;
  • empirical research report;
  • health promotion;
  • hypertension;
  • Korean Americans;
  • multicultural issues;
  • nursing


Title. Dietary acculturation and diet quality of hypertensive Korean Americans

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to describe the dietary acculturation of hypertensive and normotensive Korean Americans and native Koreans by comparing dietary pattern and diet quality.

Background.  Dietary acculturation is a major factor that influences the risks for cardiovascular disease in immigrants. Nurses play a key role in educating immigrants about dietary acculturation. Limited studies have examined dietary acculturation of Korean immigrants with hypertension.

Method.  A descriptive study of hypertensive and normotensive Korean Americans and native Koreans (n = 398) was conducted in 2003–04, using the 24-hour dietary recall method. Dietary pattern was measured by consumption frequency of Korean, American and common food, and eating outside the home. Diet quality was measured by the revised version of the Diet Quality Index.

Findings.  Korean Americans showed greater consumption of American food, common food and fast food, and ate away from home more often than native Koreans. Overall Diet Quality Index scores were not statistically significantly different between the two groups after matching. Compared with native Koreans, Korean Americans consumed lower amounts of sodium, potassium, vegetables and fruits, and energy from carbohydrates. Hypertensive Korean Americans consumed fewer vegetables and fruits, and less sodium and potassium than hypertensive native Koreans. No statistically significant differences were found between hypertensive and normotensive Korean Americans in dietary acculturation.

Conclusion.  Dietary acculturation of immigrants is a common phenomenon regardless of the country from which they immigrate. Healthcare professionals should consider the advantages and disadvantages of dietary acculturation in health promotion for immigrants.