Food system access, shopping behavior, and influences on purchasing groceries in adult Hmong living in Minnesota

Lisa Franzen, Chery Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate influences on shopping and eating behavior of Hmong adults living in St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota. Design and Setting: Conducted a mapping project, food surveys, food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and focus groups (n = 11). Subjects: Subjects were assigned to three groups. The B-TL 1 group was made up of subjects who were bom in Thailand/Laos and had lived in the US ≤5 years (n = 19). The B-TL2 group was made up of subjects who were bom in Thailand/Laos, had food memories, and had lived in the US >5 years (n = 20). The B-US group was made up of subjects who were born and/or raised in the US (n = 30). Methods: Using Geographical Informational Systems software, 15 grocery stores were mapped and surveyed. Food prices were compared with the consumer price index (CPI). The FFQ assessed food consumption patterns. Focus group transcripts were evaluated for themes and coded. Degree of acculturation was assessed by adapting a previously developed instrument. Results: The population is concentrated in St. Paul, coinciding with store density. Limited foods had CPIs and some CPIs were outdated. B-US had significantly higher levels of dietary acculturation than B-TL2 and B-TL1, with B-TL2 also having a higher dietary acculturation level compared with B-TL1. Acculturation of the Hmong into the American food system, determinants of store type, and Hmong food's having a mainstream factor were identified themes. Conclusions: B-US and B-TL2 shopped at American stores more than did B-TL1 because of convenience, onestop shopping, and increased English fluency. Hmong foods have entered the American food system and are sold at Asian and American stores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-409
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2010



  • Acculturation
  • Adult Hmong
  • Food system access
  • Gis
  • Grocery shopping
  • Prevention research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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