Post-migration food habits of sub-Saharan migrants in Victoria: a cross-sectional study

Renzaho, Andre and Burns, Cate 2006, Post-migration food habits of sub-Saharan migrants in Victoria: a cross-sectional study, Nutrition & dietetics, vol. 63, no. 2, pp. 91-102, doi: 10.1111/j.1747-0080.2006.00055.x.

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Title Post-migration food habits of sub-Saharan migrants in Victoria: a cross-sectional study
Author(s) Renzaho, Andre
Burns, Cate
Journal name Nutrition & dietetics
Volume number 63
Issue number 2
Start page 91
End page 102
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of publication Carlton, Victoria
Publication date 2006-05-24
ISSN 1446-6368
Keyword(s) cooking practice
dietary acculturation
eating pattern
food habit
sub-Saharan African migrant
Summary Objective: (i) To describe sub-Saharan African (SSA) post-migration food habits and eating patterns; and (ii) to examine how the food habits of SSA households in Victoria reflect post-migration acculturation.
Design: A cross-sectional survey using a snowball sampling technique. Data on food habits and eating patterns were obtained using semi-structured, face-to-face interviews from November 2001 to April 2002.
Subjects: A total of 139 households of demographically diverse recent migrants from across sub-Saharan Africa.
Setting: Melbourne metropolitan and Melbourne fringes.
Analysis: Data were summarised using descriptive statistics.
Results: SSA migrants and refugees indicated dietary acculturation characterised by three processes: substitution, supplementation and modification of recipes. They experienced difficulty locating their traditional foods, in particular, African vegetables (34.2%), unprocessed maize meal (29.1%), camel milk (23.1%) and maize grain (13.7%). The new foods adopted since arrival were pizza, breakfast cereals and fast foods, but also included new fruits and vegetables. Takeaway food such as Pizza Hut or McDonalds featured prominently in the SSA post-migration diet. Reasons for eating out were favourite food (48.3%), routine family outing (38.3%), special occasion (33.3%) and no time to cook (25%). A significant change in meal pattern was the inclusion of breakfast, although 21% reported skipping breakfast.
Conclusion: Many of the observed dietary changes were not consistent with good health and may predispose this population to rapid weight gain and chronic disease. Rapid modernisation and the Anglo-Australian culture interact in a complex way with traditional eating and socialisation practices of SSA migrants. Understanding these forces can allow effective health promotion and community development strategies to be developed for the future health of SSA migrants and their communities.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1747-0080.2006.00055.x
Field of Research 111712 Health Promotion
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, The Authors
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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