Dietary and Acculturation Factors Influencing Metabolic Syndrome among South Asian Americans In Two Community Health Centers in Maryland
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South Asian's (SA) have been observed to have higher insulin resistance followed by an altered state of metabolism; however, few studies have attempted to explore the acculturation process and dietary practices of immigrant SA's in the U.S. 1401 South Asian Americans living in Maryland from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Iran, and Afghanistan were selected from two community health clinics to determine the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in this study group and its indicators. The prevalence of MetS (51%) in adults was higher than African Americans, European Americans, and Mexican Americans. Overall, Indians had the highest percent of MetS 54% compared to Bengali 51%, Pakistani 49%, or Other SA 44%. The results suggest the high prevalence of MetS among SA may be due to a lack of acculturation in this survey group where 80% were classified as Asian low acculturated. Results from a logistic regression analysis showed that the likelihood of developing MetS was high, but future investigations are needed to confirm the role of acculturation from a more representative sample of SA's. We also examined the role of acculturation, diet and exercise in South Asians who acquire MetS. We also examined the diet quality using the 2010 guidelines. The low acculturated South Asians had a greater prevalence of MetS and the overall diet quality of the low income South Asians in Maryland needed improvement. The SA male and female mean scores for the healthy eating index-2010 were 71.9 ± 1.9 and 67.9 ± 1.2, respectively. Males were more acculturated, consumed healthier foods, and had a lower percent of MetS compared to females.