Culturally-consistent diet among individuals of Mexican descent at the US-Mexico border is associated with sleep duration and snoring

Sadia B. Ghani, Krishna Taneja, Chloe C.A. Wills, Andrew S. Tubbs, Marcos E. Delgadillo, Dora Valencia, Mohamed Halane, William D.S. Killgore, Michael A. Grandner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Existing studies show that consuming food consistent with one’s culture reduces cardiometabolic risk. However, few studies have assessed whether these dietary choices influence sleep health. Accordingly, this study assessed how Mexican food consumption by individuals of Mexican descent residing at the US-Mexico border, was associated with various measures of sleep, after accounting for acculturation. Methods: Data were provided by 100 adults between the ages of 18–60, in the city of Nogales, AZ. Questionnaires were provided in either Spanish or English. Acculturation was assessed with the Acculturation Scale for Mexican-Americans (ARSMA-II), with an additional question, asking how often “my family cooks Mexican foods.” Frequency of cooking Mexican food was coded as either “yes” or “no.” Sleep was assessed, using validated measures that include the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and sleep duration with the item “how many hours of actual sleep did you get at night?” Regression models estimated the associations between sleep health variables as outcomes and consumption of Mexican food as the independent variable. Covariates included age, sex, and acculturation scores. Parental education level was also included, as an indicator of childhood socioeconomic status and since food culture likely involves parents. Result: We found that among individuals who identified as Mexican-Americans who consumed culturally-consistent foods, was associated with, on average, 1.41 more hours of sleep (95% CI 0.19, 2.62; p = 0.024) and were less likely to report snoring (OR: 0.25; 95% CI 0.07, 0.93; p = 0.039). Consuming Mexican food was not associated with sleep quality, insomnia severity or sleepiness. Conclusion: Individuals of Mexican descent residing at the US-Mexico border who regularly consumed Mexican food, reported more sleep and less snoring. Mexican acculturation has been shown previously to improve sleep health. This is likely due to consumption of a culturally- consistent diet. Future studies should examine the role of acculturation in sleep health, dietary choices, and subsequent cardiometabolic risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number53
JournalBMC Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Border health disparities
  • Cultural food
  • Sleep duration
  • Sleep health
  • Snoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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