With each successive generation in the United States, Mexican-origin families lose their initial dietary advantages. Focusing on children's diets, we ask whether greater socioeconomic status (SES) can help buffer Mexican-origin children in immigrant families from negative dietary acculturation or whether it exacerbates these dietary risks. Pooling data from the 1999 to 2009 waves of the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we test whether the association between generational status and Mexican-origin children's nutrition varies by the family's SES. When predicting children's overall dietary quality using the Healthy Eating Index (2010) and predicting unhealthy dietary patterns, we find stronger evidence of segmented assimilation, whereby greater family average SES is associated with better diets across generations of Mexican-origin children. High-status Mexican-origin parents appear able to buffer their children against generational dietary declines documented in the acculturation literature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- History and Philosophy of Science