Research studies have shown that plant-based diets confer cardiovascular and metabolic health benefits. Asian Indians (AIs) in the US (who have often followed plant-based diets) have elevated risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity suggesting ethnic vulnerability that imply genetic and/or lifestyle causative links. This study explored the association between this ethnic group and diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome after controlling for demographics, acculturation, family history of diabetes, and lifestyle and clinical risk factors. The sample comprised of 1038 randomly selected adult AIs in seven US sites. Prevalence and metabolic syndrome was estimated, and obesity was calculated using the WHO Asian criteria. Multivariate analysis included multinomial logistic regression. The mean age and length of residency in the US were 47 and 18.5 years, respectively. The majority of respondents were vegetarians (62%) and educated. A vegetarian lifestyle was associated with females, food label users, respondents with poor/fair current health status, less acculturated, and those who reported their diet had not changed after coming to the US. Vegetarian status was a protective factor and lowered the risk for diabetes but not for metabolic syndrome and obesity in the regression model. Results provide a firm basis for educational programs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism