Publication Abstract

Authors: Patterson BH, Harlan LC, Block G, Kahle L

Title: Food choices of whites, blacks, and Hispanics: data from the 1987 National Health Interview Survey.

Journal: Nutr Cancer 23(2):105-19

Date: 1995

Abstract: Dietary guidelines posit an association between diet and cancer. Different cancer mortality rates among whites, blacks, and Hispanics may be related to differences in diet. Food frequency data from the 1987 National Health Interview Survey on 20,143 adults were used to estimate the percentage of adults, by gender and race/ethnicity, who consume some 59 foods six or more times per year, median number of servings for consumers, and frequency of consumption of skin on poultry and fat on red meat. On the basis of percent consumption of these foods, women appear to have a more diverse diet than men. Women eat more fruits and vegetables, less meat, and fewer high-fat foods and drink fewer alcoholic beverages. Whites eat a more varied diet than blacks and Hispanics; blacks eat more fried and high-fat food; consumption of high-fat foods is lowest among Hispanics. Public health messages, especially those aimed at cancer prevention, should be targeted at increasing the overall consumption of fruits and vegetables, decreasing consumption of high-fat foods, especially among white and black men, and increasing consumption of those healthful foods already consumed by particular race/ethnicity groups.