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11.15.2019

Take this survey on AAPI food habits. For research!

Study examines the eating habits of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.



Our friend Oliver Wang, professor of sociology at California State University Long Beach, is launching a pilot study to explore the eating habits of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and he could use your help.

Take this quick online survey: AAPI Food Habits

Oliver says the study came from a simple question: how do AAPIs eat? Specifically, he and co-author Mike Hoa Nguyen were interested in how those of us raised in the United States make decisions about what to cook at home or eat in restaurants. How often do we prioritize some kind of Asian food -- whether it’s the food linked to our family heritage or just any kind of Asian food -- when we think about what we want to eat?

"For me, that’s pretty important," Oliver says. "I live in Los Angeles's San Gabriel Valley -- practically the national capital for Asian American cuisine -- and it's easy for me to take for granted how many restaurants and markets I have access to. It certainly shapes my meal decisions, whether I'm getting a bite out to eat or I'm cooking for my family."




But academic research about the eating habits of AAPIs is apparently pretty sparse.

"Surprisingly, when we went to see what research had been done around this question of eating habits, we couldn't find much," Oliver says. "The studies that do exist are primarily epidemiological, focusing on foreign-born immigrants who come here and change their diet and then experience different health outcomes. That work is obviously very important, especially from a health care point of view, but we were interested in the associations between food and identity/community.

"To be candid, I have no idea what the findings of this pilot study are going to be. Geography, we presume, should play a role here; if you don't live near Asian restaurants or markets, that would likely impact how frequently you eat within that world of cuisine but who knows? Maybe being isolated from those foodways actually spurs people to cook it at home more. We simply don't know, hence why we're launching this study!"

Take the survey here.