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Dietary habits and health status of African-Caribbean adults

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Abstract Background: 

Although African-Caribbeans in the UK are more likely to suffer from a number of diet-related health conditions, including obesity, hypertension and type II diabetes, there have been few dietary studies on this group. The present study is based on a small survey of food and nutrient intakes and traditional dietary habits of African-Caribbean adults living in Staffordshire. Methods: 

A questionnaire, designed to collect demographic data and information on medical status, physical activities, dietary, cooking and food shopping habits was administered to a convenience sample of 39 adults. Detailed information on food intakes was gathered using a modified existing Food Frequency Questionnaire with 169 items. Height and weight were measured for the calculation of body mass index. Results: 

The average age of the subjects was 47 years (range 19–65 years). The prevalence of obesity was 39% and one-third of subjects reported having at least one health condition. Physical activities, outside of work, were undertaken by 95% of the sample. Traditional foods were used by 92% of respondents, including fruit and vegetables purchased at markets outside of their local area. A wide variety of foods were consumed and the percentages of energy provided by fats and carbohydrates (30% and 53%, respectively) appeared to be meeting government recommendations. However, absolute energy intakes were high and salt consumption, often in the form of commercial seasonings, exceeded government recommendations. Conclusions: 

The positive aspects of the diets of this population need to be encouraged. Interventions need to focus on ways of reducing total energy intakes, as well as levels of salt consumption.
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Keywords: African-Caribbean; adults; dietary intakes; traditional foods

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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