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Towards understanding the new food environment for refugees from the Horn of Africa in Australia
journal contributionposted on 2010-09-01, 00:00 authored by A Wilson, Andre Renzaho, M McCabe, Boyd SwinburnBoyd Swinburn
The study explored how African migrant communities living in North-West Melbourne, Australia, conceptualise and interpret the Australian food system from an intergenerational perspective and how this impacts on their attitudes and beliefs about food in Australia. Using a qualitative approach that involved 15 adolescents and 25 parents, the study found significant intergenerational differences in four themes that characterised their new food environment: (1) an abundance of cheap and readily available processed and packaged foods, (2) nutrition messages that are complex to gauge due to poor literacy levels, (3) promotion of a slim body size, which contradicts pre-existing cultural values surrounding body shapes and (4) Australian food perceived as being full of harmful chemicals. In order to develop effective culturally competent obesity prevention interventions in this sub-population, a multigenerational approach is needed.