Dietary and Lifestyle Practices of Hmong in California


As Hmong adapt to life in Fresno, California, their dietary and lifestyle patterns are examined. Data on tobacco and alcohol use, dietary practices, and socio-demographic variables were collected from a convenience sample, stratified by age and sex. The 248 participants were interviewed. Descriptive analyses reveal that more than 63% of Hmong adults were either overweight or obese. Only 57% could speak English fluently, and 71% were economically impoverished. Hmong do not consume tobacco and alcoholic products excessively. Rice, chicken, beef, and eggs were the most frequently identified food items. Fruits and vegetables were also identified. Low alcohol and tobacco consumption may offer Hmong some protection against certain diseases. However, low socioeconomic status and rapid urbanization may have resulted in a shift from a high-energy expenditure lifestyle and high fiber diets to a sedentary lifestyle with high saturated fat food diets, which may be detrimental to the health of many Hmong.