Assessment of dietary acculturation in east asian populations: A scoping review

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East Asian immigrants face multiple challenges upon arrival in their destination country, including an increased risk of future diabetes and cardiovascular disease development. The adoption of food and eating patterns of their host country (i.e., dietary acculturation) may contribute to this increased disease risk. To effectively examine the dietary acculturation-disease risk relationship in East Asian immigrants, sensitive tools are necessary; however, there has been no systematic review of the methods used to assess dietary acculturation in this population. A systematic scoping review of the literature was undertaken to address this gap. A systematic search was conducted in December 2019 and returned a total of 6140 papers. Manuscripts were screened independently by 2 reviewers, resulting in the final inclusion of 30 papers reporting on 27 studies. Robust measures of dietary acculturation were lacking, with only 6 studies using validated tools. Most studies used self-reported cross-sectional surveys to determine how the individual's diet had changed since immigrating, with responses provided on Likert scales. Only 3 quantitative longitudinal studies used prospective measures of diet change, through serial food-frequency questionnaires. Qualitative studies explored dietary acculturation and factors influencing change in diet through semi-structured interviews and focus groups. This review found there is no consensus in the literature on how to most effectively measure the magnitude and process of dietary acculturation in East Asian populations. There is a need for robust, longitudinal, and mixed-method study designs to address the lack of evidence and develop more comprehensive tools measuring dietary acculturation. Improving the assessment methods used to measure dietary acculturation is critical in helping to monitor the impact of interventions or policies aimed at reducing diet-related disease risk in East Asian immigrant populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-886
Number of pages22
JournalAdvances in Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Diet transition
  • Dietary acculturation
  • Dietary change
  • East Asian
  • Immigration
  • Measurement
  • Scoping review

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