Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploration of food preferences among different generations of Japanese-Americans living in the Seattle area: A pilot study
by Kobayashi-Wagner, Reiko, M.S.N., Bastyr University, 2016, 67; 10126857
Abstract (Summary)

Objective: Access to preferred diet is a major factor that affects quality of life in older adults in long-term care. To accommodate culturally sensitive issues, including diet that may arise between traditional long-term care and Japanese culture, Nikkei Manor (NM) Assisted Living was developed in Seattle, Washington by Keiro Northwest (KNW). Because inter-generational differences in food preferences within Japanese-Americans may exist, examination of dietary trends could improve quality service now and in the future. The goal of this study was to investigate food preferences among Japanese-Americans living at NM and different generations in the Seattle area and to define and discover potential relationships between food and food acceptance/satisfaction in assisted living facilities.

Methods: An ethnographical qualitative study design used a Japanese-specific Food Preference Survey to interview participants, over 18 years and affiliated with KNW. Interviews were voice-recorded using Voice Memo App for iPhone. Qualitative data were transcribed verbatim in Microsoft Word and coded to identify common themes. Quantitative demographic data were analyzed by Microsoft Excel and SPSS.

Results: Of the 53 participants (54.7%) were 71-99 y, (73.5%) female, (66.0%) 2nd or 3 rd generation, (64.2%) born in US. All but two participants (n= 51) preferred either Asian or both Asian and Western cuisine however no significant differences between generations. Favorite foods among participants included Japanese foods and Western-style sweets. Participants open to eating variety of foods. Health and Japanese history/culture were major influences on food preference.

Conclusion: Based on responses from future customers, meal programs offered by KNW should tailor dining experiences to match needs and desires by increasing Asian-based meals, adapting recipes to make them nutritionally balanced and keep Japanesefood-culture traditions alive. Future studies should focus on exploring food preferences of younger generations and newly arrived Japanese-Americans including the geographical location of family ancestry in Japan as food cultures.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kazaks, Alexandra, Sasagawa, Masa
Commitee: Frasieur, Amy, Manio, Chris
School: Bastyr University
Department: Nutrition
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian American Studies, Nutrition
Keywords: Food preferences, Japanese-Americans, Seattle
Publication Number: 10126857
ISBN: 978-1-339-84895-2
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