The role of culture and religion in the management of diabetes: a study of Kashmiri men in Leeds

J R Soc Promot Health. 2003 Jun;123(2):110-6. doi: 10.1177/146642400312300216.


This research attempted to explore the current experience and attitude towards control of diabetes among Kashmiri men with diabetes in Leeds. The data was collected by the author by conducting interviews among a total of 106 men. The results of this survey indicate that a large number of men with diabetes were failing to control and manage their condition. The overall attitude was to enjoy life and "leave the rest to Allah". Data indicated the large influence of cultural values dominating the behaviour of the sample population. The data showed that although a large majority of the men had been told by health professionals that they were overweight, a majority of them did not believe themselves to be so. This belief seems to have been influenced by cultural norms in which the overweight figures tend to project prosperity and well-being in the community. Similarly, first cousin marriages are common in this community. Such cultural practices may lay foundations for future hereditary complications. The study concluded that there is a need to change attitudes towards food and exercise, and controlling sugar level and blood pressure to avoid diabetic complications. For this, both the men as well as the women must be targeted separately in the form of open days, meetings and discussions to promote healthy food consumption, physical activity and healthy living.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Culture*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • England / epidemiology
  • Family Characteristics
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Self Care