Individual and Environmental Influences on Intake of Calcium-rich Food and Beverages by Young Hmong Adolescent Girls

Houa Vue, Marla Reicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify individual and environmental factors affecting intake of calcium-rich food and beverages by early adolescent Hmong girls. Design: Cross-sectional survey of girls, in-depth interviews with parents. Setting: Girl Scout and 4-H programs in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. Participants: Convenience samples of 10-13-year-old Hmong girls (n = 102) and their parents (n = 20). Analysis: Spearman correlation analysis, constant comparative method. Variables Measured: Individual and environmental factors for girls and reported intake of calcium-rich food and beverages. Results: Few girls observed parents drinking milk or were encouraged by parents to drink milk. Many reported low intake of milk with dinner meals and snacks. Only one third reported that calcium-rich food such as yogurt, cheese, and tofu were available at home, and intake of these food items was associated with availability. Parents accommodated child preferences and had few expectations for their child to eat certain calcium-rich food items. Parents did not commonly consume dairy products but indicated they made milk available for children. Knowledge of calcium requirements was limited, but most parents related calcium to bone health. Conclusions and Implications: Environmental factors may limit calcium intake by Hmong girls. Education should involve parents and children and address environmental factors that affect intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-272
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2007

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Hmong
  • calcium intake
  • early adolescent girls
  • parental influence

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