Nutrition related knowledge, attitudes, practices and needs of Indian immigrants and family members in Newfoundland

Varghese, Suja (1999) Nutrition related knowledge, attitudes, practices and needs of Indian immigrants and family members in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study was a comprehensive nutrition related needs assessment of Indian immigrants and family members in Newfoundland. It was also designed to answer questions such as whether this ethnic group had acculturated to Canadian food habits and whether their dietary practices were influenced by their knowledge, attitudes and demographic characteristics. A cross sectional survey utilizing a self administered mailed questionnaire was conducted. A random sample of 132 subjects, both males and females, aged 10-65+ took part in the study. -- It was found that the respondents were fairly knowledgeable about healthy eating guidelines in Canada. Regarding attitudes toward food selection, they were frugal, non-food explorative, but sociable/ hospitable with a strong concern for social status. They valued nutrition as fundamental to good health. The food consumption pattern revealed that they were somewhat acculturated to Canadian food habits. Although the overall likelihood of following healthy life style practices was good, consumption of grains and vegetables /fruits was not at par with the recommendations of Canada's Food Guide. It was observed that healthy lifestyle practices were more consistently associated with the attitude to 'nutrition is important' rather than with nutrition related knowledge. The demographic characteristics revealed that this ethnic group was highly educated with higher than average income, well established in Newfoundland and had few language problems. In spite of these unique characteristics, the majority of respondents rated nutrition services available in Newfoundland as culturally inappropriate. The desire to know more about the nutritional quality of their traditional diet, provision of ethnic foods regularly in hospitals and availability of ethnically tailored nutrition education materials were some of the expressed needs of this ethnic group. -- The findings of this study reinforce the need for more culturally appropriate nutrition services in Newfoundland hospitals and communities. The finding that knowledge was not sufficient in inducing healthy eating practices calls for new strategies for dietary modifications. Because of the unique characteristics of this study population, results are not generalizable to other immigrants in Newfoundland or to Indian immigrants in other parts of Canada. More studies on other immigrants are needed to understand the impact of culture on nutrition related issues.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1023
Item ID: 1023
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 98-104.
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador; India
Library of Congress Subject Heading: East Indians--Newfoundland and Labrador--Nutrition; Immigrants--Newfoundland and Labrador--Nutrition; East Indians--Food--Newfoundland and Labrador
Medical Subject Heading: Minority Groups--Newfoundland and Labrador; Nutritional Physiological Phenomena; Food Habits; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice

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