Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Dietetics and Nutrition

First Advisor's Name

Fatma Huffman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Zisca Dixon

Third Advisor's Name

Paulette Johnson

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to establish baseline information on the way in which acculturation affects Cuban Americans' dietary habits. In addition, the study explored differences in post-migration food preference between diabetic and non-diabetic Cuban Americans. The study was a cross-sectional survey utilizing a convenient sample of Cuban Americans living in Miami-Dade County. One hundred seventy-eight first generation Cuban Americans completed the Multidimensional Acculturation Survey for Cuban Americans (MAS-CA) which included a Dietary Bidimensional Acculturation Scale (D-BAS). Food acculturation scores for Cuban and American food choices were calculated from the D-BAS. Overall, the mean Cuban food score (CFS) (31.8 ± 9.4) was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than the mean American food score (AFS) (15.7 ± 8.6). The Cuban Americans who participated this study preferred Cuban foods to American foods. Moreover, the higher the level of acculturation, the smaller the difference between the CFS and the AFS. There was a statistically significant (P < 0.001) negative relationship between the CFS and the acculturation score. Lower acculturation language scores were associated with higher CFS. Regardless of the presence of diabetes, Cuban Americans preferred Cuban foods. Having type 2 diabetes negatively influenced the subjects' alcohol consumption. It was demonstrated that the instrument developed for this study (D-BAS) was able to measure the subject's dietary acculturation. This instrument can be used as a measure of acculturation, either singularly or in a combination with other measures. In designing nutrition intervention programs, it may be necessary to determine food acculturation levels in order to have more effective programs.





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