Welcome to America, Would You Like a Grilled Cheese?

America.

Of all the things we associate with our ethnicity, food is probably at the top of the list.

American immigrants may be eager to eschew their ethnic dress, music, and language for the sake of acclimating to this culture… but their food? They’ll hang on to that, thanks.

The resilience of ethnic cuisine is much to our benefit, too. The choices in many
American towns used to be limited to ordering a burger or chicken wings  but now customers are in line for bibimbap or chicken masala coorg.

Unfortunately, a recent study suggests that this exchange between the U.S. and its newest residents is a two way street that might be leading immigrants’ kids to obesity.

The study showed that when Asian-American students were made to feel insecure about the American part of their culture- even if was only on a subconscious level-they tended to choose foods that were typically “American cuisine” (fried chicken, grilled cheese etc.) and shy away from traditionally Asian dishes.

The logic by the researchers is that the children of immigrants are so concerned with fitting in, that they are willing to order highly caloric foods to do it.

Getting fat to fit in?

They are willing to get fat to fit in.

I question that logic. American society looks down on heavy people far more than it does on people who enjoy the occasional plate of chicken feet.

Still, it is troubling that children perceive the unhealthy choice to also be the American choice.

So what’s your order?

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One response to “Welcome to America, Would You Like a Grilled Cheese?

  1. True! Studies of Japanese immigrants to Hawaii showed that within 2 generations all the benefits conveyed by their non-western diets were gone as their children and grandchildren started eating “the American Way.” It’s really a pity, especially for those who, like Japanese immigrants, come from an overall healthier cuisine.

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