Dietary acculturation and health-related issues of Indian immigrant families in Newfoundland

Can J Diet Pract Res. 2002 Summer;63(2):72-9. doi: 10.3148/63.2.2002.72.


Traditional Indian diets are high in grains, vegetables and fruits, and in this respect are substantially in accord with Canada s Food Guide to Healthy Eating. Adopting North American eating patterns carries potential health risks. In this study we explored migration-associated changes in eating patterns, lifestyle practices, and health-related issues of Indian immigrants and their families in Newfoundland. A cross-sectional survey employing a self-administered mailed questionnaire was conducted. A random sample of 132 subjects aged ten to 65+ took part. Participants were well established in Newfoundland and almost all were fluent in English. They were somewhat acculturated to foods commonly eaten in Canada. The majority reported that they were very or somewhat likely to engage in healthy lifestyle practices, and most (73%) wanted more relevant nutrition information. Consumption of grains, vegetables, and fruits was not in accordance with Canada s Food Guide to Healthy Eating. Sixty-five percent of participants reported that traditional Indian foods were not readily available, and 72% indicated a change in food-preparation methods. Studies of diverse ethnic groups are needed to guide effective nutrition education programs. University curricula and dietetic training programs should include cross-cultural courses to increase awareness of immigrants unique needs.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Diet Surveys
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Surveys and Questionnaires