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J Immigr Minor Health. 2015 Apr;17(2):582-90. doi: 10.1007/s10903-013-9877-6.

A review on changes in food habits among immigrant women and implications for health.

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Institute for Nutritional Sciences and Physiology, University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Eduard Wallnoefer-Zentrum 1, 6060, Hall in Tirol, Austria.


The present article covers the range of various factors that impact dietary change among immigrant women, the consequences for health as well as suggestions for an improved intervention. The factors like: busier lifestyle, lack of social relations, higher level of stress, children's preferences, taste, food insecurity, lack of traditional foods and others can result in high fat and sugar diets, low consumption of fruits/vegetables, greater portions, consumption of convenience food and inactivity. These unfavorable dietary changes can in turn cause chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and others. These negative impacts increase with the time spent in a foreign country, especially in USA and Canada, whereas cases in Europe show minor negative or even positive impacts. For a successful intervention a better understanding of the whole process is needed with a special focus on low-income females due to their double discrimination and their influence towards the health of all family members.

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