Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition
(P04-061-20) Acculturation, Food Label Literacy and Use Among South Asian Americans
Objectives: To examine the level of acculturation and its association with food label literacy and use among South Asian Americans.
Methods: Data were collected using an online cross-sectional survey of 269 South Asian Americans living across the United States, recruited via social media and snow-ball sampling method. The Short Acculturation Scale for Hispanics was adapted to measure acculturation amongst South Asian adults. The Newest Vital Sign health literacy assessment tool was used to measure food label literacy.
Results: In this sample of 196 South Asian Americans with complete data, mean age was 36±11.4 y, the majority were born outside the U.S (84%), women (69%), married (69%), overweight/obese (65%) and had college degrees (86%). While most (82%) reported using food labels at least sometimes when purchasing a food product for the first time (82%), and that food labels influenced their purchase decisions (75%), only 35% demonstrated food label literacy (with maximum food label literacy score). Older (age ≥36y) South Asian Americans were more likely to be food label users (89.4% vs 73.6%, p=.006) and to report that food labels influence their food purchases (82.8% vs 69%, p=.034) than their younger counterparts. Mean acculturation was 3.14±0.78 (scale 1 - 5). Higher acculturation (score >median) was not associated with food label use, but was significantly associated with food label literacy (43.6% vs 27.3%, p=0.018). The association between higher acculturation and food label literacy remained significant after controlling for age, sex and education (adj OR=2.22; 95% CI 1.18, 4.14).
Conclusions: Nutrition education interventions are needed to improve food label literacy among South Asian Americans.
Funding Sources: None
Assistant Professor Queens College Flushing, New York
Undergraduate student Hunter College - Macaulay Program Queens Village, New York