Acculturation and Food Intake Among Ghanaian Migrants in Europe: Findings From the RODAM Study

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2020 Feb;52(2):114-125. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2019.09.004. Epub 2019 Oct 7.


Objective: This study examined the role of migration and acculturation in the diet of Ghanaian migrants in Europe by (1) comparing food intake of Ghanaian migrants in Europe with that of Ghanaians living in Ghana and (2) assessing the association between acculturation and food intake.

Design: Data from the cross-sectional multicenter study Research on Obesity and Diabetes among African Migrants were used. Food intake was assessed using a Ghana-specific food propensity questionnaire (134 items and 14 food groups); foods were grouped based on a model of dietary change proposed by Koctürk-Runefors.

Setting: Ghana, London, Amsterdam, and Berlin.

Participants: A total of 4,534 Ghanaian adults living in Ghana and Europe, with complete dietary data. Of these, 1,773 Ghanaian migrants had complete acculturation data.

Main outcome measure: Food intake (the weighted intake frequency per week of food categories).

Analysis: Linear regression.

Results: Food intake differed between Ghanaians living in Ghana and Europe. Among Ghanaian migrants in Europe, there were inconsistent and small associations between acculturation and food intake, except for ethnic identity, which was consistently associated with intake only of traditional staples.

Conclusions and implications: Findings indicate that migration is associated with dietary changes that cannot be fully explained by ethnic, cultural, and social acculturation. The study provides limited support to the differential changes in diet suggested by the Koctürk-Runefors' model of dietary change.

Keywords: Ghanaian migrant; Koctürk-Runefors’ model; acculturation; food intake; migration.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / ethnology*
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Ghana / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged