Bindon, J.R. 1986. Dietary patterns of children in American Samoa: Multivariate analysis of food groups and household associations. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 18:331-338.

This report presents the findings of a dietary survey among 63 children aged five to seven years, on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa. Twenty-four hour recall interviews were conducted with the children and household food preparers to estimate kinds and frequencies of foods consumed. The foods were aggregated into 19 groups, and a principal components analysis was performed to determine patterning among the groups. Four factors, accounting for two thirds of the variability in frequency of food group usage, are reported on. The first two factors focused on introduced foods that are primarily purchased in the markets: breakfasts of milk, eggs and cereal or bread and butter; lunches and dinners with sandwiches, chicken and non-traditional vegetables, as well as snacks (cookies, candy, sodas, chips and similar foods). The next two factors focused on mostly traditional Samoan foods that have been combined in prestige meals for centuries (meat, fish, taro, breadfruit and bananas). Analyses of covariance on the diet factor scores indicated that per capita income was not associated with any of the dietary factors, but maintenance of a plantation was related to high scores on the two traditional food factors. On the basis of previous dietary work on Samoan adults, it is suggested that, since gardening is associated with higher frequency of use of traditional foods, it may also be associated with improved nutritional quality of a diet.