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P30 Interface of Neighborhood Residence on Obesity Prevention Behaviors and Self-Efficacy in Chinese Americans

      Background

      The obesity epidemic is a prominent health issue affecting Chinese Americans in the United States. An individual's living environment affects dietary choices and consumption patterns, impacting weight-related outcomes. The important construct of self-efficacy provides a foundation for nutrition educators in understanding mediators of health behaviors.

      Objective

      To identify if self-reported neighborhood of residence (‘high income’ vs ‘middle-low income’) elucidate differences in obesity prevention behaviors and self-efficacy in Chinese Americans residing in Los Angeles county and the New York metropolitan area.

      Study Design, Settings, Participants

      A cross-sectional survey design was used where a convenience sample of 650 participants (18-60 years old) completed a validated, self-administered questionnaire. Participants were recruited from universities, cultural institutions, and churches, representing a wide range of backgrounds.

      Measurable Outcome and Analysis

      Nineteen behaviors related to obesity risk reduction were measured with 9 items measuring self-efficacy for these behaviors. Participants indicated adoption of behaviors over the month reflecting food practices, portion size control, and consumption of plant-based foods. Descriptive statistics were conducted for the entire sample while t tests were applied for categorized neighborhoods (‘high income’ vs ‘middle-low income’).

      Results

      The mean age of the study participants (67% female) was 36.3 (SD = 14.5) years. Higher frequency of adoption of 6 health behaviors within the ‘high income group’ as compared to counterparts was indicated by t tests. Notable mean differences in behavior included choosing steamed over fried foods (P < 0.01), using small amounts of oils (P < 0.05), eating healthful snacks (P < 0.05), and following traditional healthful Chinese food patterns (P < 0.01). Stronger self-efficacy levels in the ‘high income group’ for 7 out of 9 items reflecting the performance of dietary behaviors were also indicated by t tests.

      Conclusion

      Nutrition professionals must assess client's living environments in the adoption of obesity prevention behaviors. In fostering behavioral confidence, investigating the impact of individuals’ neighborhood in various residential areas are warranted.
      Funding None.

      Appendix. Supplementary data