Acculturation factors are associated with folate intakes among Mexican American women.J Nutr. 2011 Oct; 141(10):1889-97.JN
Folic acid can prevent neural tube defects (NTD). Hispanic women have a higher prevalence of NTD than non-Hispanic white (NHW) women and consume less folic acid. Among Hispanics, acculturation has been associated with lower intakes of natural folate. It is unknown if this same relationship is seen for fortified foods. This article describes the associations of acculturation factors with usual folate intakes from foods and supplements and compares the proportion that meets recommended intakes of folic acid of US Mexican American (MA) women with those of NHW women. For US NHW and MA women aged 15-44 y (n = 3167), usual folate intakes (i.e., natural food folate, folic acid from food, total folic acid [fortified foods plus supplements], and total folate) were estimated using measurement error models from NHANES 2001-2008. Compared with NHW women, MA women did not differ in their intake of natural food folate or folic acid from food. Similarly, compared with NHW women (332 ± 17.3 μg/d), the mean total usual folic acid intakes were lower among MA women who reported speaking Spanish (224 ± 24.9 μg/d) but not for MA women who reported speaking English (283 ± 36.2 μg/d). MA women were more likely than NHW women to consume a total folic acid intake <400 μg/d. MA women with lower acculturation factors were the most likely to have an intake <400 μg/d compared to NHW women. Public health efforts should focus on increasing total folic acid intake among MA women, emphasizing those with lower acculturation factors (e.g., MA women who report speaking Spanish).