Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Kai-Lin Catherine Jen


INTRODUCTION: Immigrants to the U.S. face challenges and changes regarding to their food intake patterns that may be associated with their health status. However, less is known about the intake patterns among Arab immigrants.

OBJECTIVES 1: To establish a food intake database using 24-hr dietary records from Arab females who immigrated to the U.S. for less than 5 years, 5 to 10 years and greater than 10 years, as well as women still living in SA; 2: To establish an Arab Food Frequency Questionnaire (AFFQ) for future nutrition-related studies with Arab populations.

AIMS 1: To test the hypothesis that as the length of residence in the U.S. increased, the amount of native food consumption decreased as a function of acculturation, and also to determine the demographic variables that contributed to the changes in food intake patterns; 2: To test the hypothesis that food intake patterns of female immigrants in the U.S. who were from SA, Iraq, and Yemen, or Saudi females still living in SA would be different from that of the general population of the three countries in 2013.

METHODS: Participants in the U.S. from Iraq, Yemen, and SA (n=125) who immigrated for less than 5 years, 5 to 10 years, and greater than 10 years, and in SA (n=50) were interviewed to collect 24-hr food dietary records. Based on the commonly consumed food items, an AFFQ was established. Another 2 days dietary records and AFFQ data were collected from 50 participants of the original sample to test the reliability and the validity of AFFQ.

RESULTS: There were significant differences in dietary intake patterns between women in the U.S. and women in SA, and between women in the U.S. for more than 10 years and for less than 5 years. The longer they resided in the U.S., the more likely they accepted the western food and culture compared to women living in SA.

CONCLUSION: Studies with larger sample size is needed to further validate the AFFQ use and to further refine this AFFQ. Nevertheless, this AFFQ demonstrated its validity and may be used for future longitudinal nutrition acculturation studies.

Included in

Nutrition Commons