Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Minority Groups Pick Up Worst European Eating Habits, Study Finds

Date:
May 11, 2009
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
Immigrant populations in Europe face an increased risk of diet-related diseases as they adjust to a "Western" lifestyle, according to scientists.

Immigrant populations in Europe face an increased risk of diet-related diseases as they adjust to a 'Western' lifestyle, according to scientists at the University of Leeds.

Related Articles


A recent study shows that the dietary habits of immigrants change when they move to European countries. According to the research, immigrant populations replace the healthy components of their native diet with the worst aspects of western diets, such as processed and fast foods.

The risks are greater among younger generations of the immigrant groups, as they are more likely than their elders to eat less healthy foods found in their new country.

Dr Santosh Khokhar at the University of Leeds' School of Food Science and Nutrition examined changes to the diets of African-Caribbeans, Chinese, Mexicans, Moroccans, Surinamese, South Asians and Turks living in Europe.

They found ethnic groups with low incomes had the most restricted food choice, as the foods of their traditional diet had to be imported, so becoming more expensive. In comparison, the availability of the unhealthiest western food was very high and also low cost.

Dr Khokhar, Senior Lecturer in Food Biochemistry, said that elements of the traditional diets are being 'replaced' with less healthy alternatives'. She continued: "The inclusion of snack foods such as French fries, chips and cakes leads to ethnic populations having higher levels of fat, salt and sugar in their diet."

She added that groups in lower socioeconomic communities "often eat poorer quality foods, such as cheaper cuts of meat with more fat. They also tend to buy less fruits and vegetables and they consume more processed foods".

In the study Changing dietary habits of ethnic groups in Europe and implications for health, published in Nutrition Reviews, she proposed that the decline in the nutritional quality of the diet leads to ethnic groups becoming "more susceptible to diet-related health problems similar to those affecting the mainstream population in Europe, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes".

"The ethnic group that integrated most strongly with their host country rapidly adopted the disease patterns of the host," she said.

The study found that diets are affected by a variety of factors including income, a lack of nutritional knowledge, availability of certain foods and the religious customs of the ethnic group. Generation and age are also major factors; younger generations have a less traditional diet compared to their elders, who tend to be "more segregated from the mainstream population and thus continue eating traditional foods."

In related research published in the journal Food Chemistry, Dr Khokhar emphasised that to fully understand the impact of diet on health more information is needed on the composition of individual foods and of the diet as a whole. It is particularly important to produce data using agreed ['harmonised'] procedures so that comparisons can be made between countries and between populations.

Dr Khokhar's research was funded by the European Commission under the EU's 6th Framework Programme's Food Quality and Safety theme and was part of the EuroFIR consortium which is developing an international food composition information system.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leeds. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Gilbert et al. Changing dietary habits of ethnic groups in Europe and implications for health. Nutrition Reviews, 2008; 66 (4): 203 DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00025.x
  2. Khokhar et al. Harmonised procedures for producing new data on the nutritional composition of ethnic foods. Food Chemistry, 2009; 113 (3): 816 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.06.046

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "Minority Groups Pick Up Worst European Eating Habits, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090506202944.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2009, May 11). Minority Groups Pick Up Worst European Eating Habits, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090506202944.htm
University of Leeds. "Minority Groups Pick Up Worst European Eating Habits, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090506202944.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins