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ERIC Number: EJ950681
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-0017-8969
Meanings of Food, Eating and Health in Punjabi Families Living in Vancouver, Canada
Chapman, Gwen E; Ristovski-Slijepcevic, Svetlana; Beagan, Brenda L
Health Education Journal, v70 n1 p102-112 Mar 2011
Objective: South Asians living in western countries have increased risk for developing diet-related chronic disease compared to Caucasians of European heritage. To increase understanding of social and cultural factors associated with their food habits, this study examined the meanings of food, health and well-being embedded in the food practices of families of Punjabi heritage living in Metro Vancouver, Canada. Design: Qualitative research design. Setting: Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Method: Data collection included individual interviews with 39 members of 12 families of Punjabi Sikh origin (ages 13 to 70 years) and participant observation of a grocery shopping trip and family meal. Themes were generated through constant comparative analysis of transcripts to describe, organize and interpret influences on participants' food decision-making in families. Findings: Participants' descriptions of their eating habits were characterized by contrasts between elders' reliance on traditional Indian foods and young people's desire for their diets to include at least some "western" food. Participants articulated two different understandings of how food habits affect physical health: a scientific approach that related specific food components (eg, fat, cholesterol, vitamins) to risk of chronic disease, and a view based on centuries of traditional knowledge about food. Food choice was also shaped by concerns for the psychosocial well-being of individual family members, exemplified by women's attention to food preferences of individuals in the family. Conclusion: These findings add to understanding of the varied ways food practices are implicated in constructing ethnic identities, and provide insight into cultural influences on health behaviours. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Vancouver)