Migration and the Food Environment

Introductory Speakers: Dr. Evelyn Crayton, Professor Emeritus, Auborn University, Past President, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dr. Leps Malete, Associate Professor, Michigan State University, Dr. Rodolfo M Nayga Jr., Professor and Tyson Endowed Chair in Food Policy, University of Arkansas.

About the workshop:

Moving from one place to another, whether from a rural to an urban area, or over larger distances to a new country, means encountering new diets. The adjustment can be difficult, both on a behavioral and physical level.

Migrant populations bring with them a genetic setup, culture and diet which can create dietary problems such as overweight and obesity in the new environment, especially if the new diets are “western” in the sense that they are processed and contain high levels of fat, salt and sugar. Migrants, including children born from migrant parents are vulnerable, yet their needs so far are neglected or underestimated.

In this workshop we will discuss strategies to address childhood obesity among migrants and the double burden of malnutrition that many countries face (when under-nutrition and obesity co-exist in one country or setting).The aim of the workshop is to identify:

  • Current knowledge gaps and need for data to better understand childhood obesity problems among first migrant and in-country born migrant adolescent populations
  • The needs for tailor-made nutrition messages
  • How to increase awareness in primary healthcare systems of this risk group and how to ease the disease burden

Workshop prepared by: Dr. Linley Chiwona-Karltun, Senior Researcher, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Åsa Andersson, Dietician, Uppsala County Council and Sarah Hamed, Research Assistant, Uppsala University.