Objectives: This study is a preliminary investigation of the relationship of acculturation to body size and glucose intolerance among African Caribbeans living in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). Methods: Focus groups were used to identify items for measuring acculturation, and validity and reliability procedures were performed on the items. The acculturation items were administered to a population-based sample of 740 individuals aged 20 years and older. Anthropometric measurements and blood pressure were taken and a fasting blood sample was also drawn. Results: Factor analysis showed that the acculturation items clustered as 3 factors that appeared to represent: 1) the 'adoption' of USVI-American values; 2) 'integration' and practice of USVI customs; and 3) allegiance to 'traditional' African-Caribbean values and customs. Each factor exhibited relationships to demographic variables that were characteristic of acculturation, with the mean adoption (AD) score being significantly (P=.0002) higher for USVI-born persons than for African-Caribbean immigrants [AD=11.3 (95% CI=11.0-11.6) vs AD=10.6 (95% CI=10.4-10.8), respectively], while African-Caribbean immigrants had a higher (P=.0001) traditional score (TS) compared to USVI-born persons [TS=9.0 (95% CI=8.8-9.2) vs TS=7.0 (95% CI=6.7-7.2), respectively]. In regression analyses adjusting for age, education, income, smoking, and alcohol consumption, the 'adoption' factor was independently and positively related to BMI (P=.02) among USVI-born African Caribbeans, and to fasting glucose (P=.005) among African-Caribbean immigrants. Conclusions: Acculturation is associated with increased body size and diabetes risk in African Caribbeans in the USVI and appears to bear a differential impact according to place of birth.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Ethnicity and Disease|
|State||Published - Dec 2003|
- Body Size
- Glucose Intolerance
ASJC Scopus subject areas