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Influence of acculturation among Tunisian migrants in France and their past/present exposure to the home country on diet and physical activity

  • Caroline Méjean (a1) (a2), Pierre Traissac (a1), Sabrina Eymard-Duvernay (a1), Francis Delpeuch (a1) and Bernard Maire (a1)...

Abstract

Objective

To study how dietary patterns and physical activity vary with acculturation and with past and current exposure to socio-cultural norms of the home country among Tunisian migrants.

Design

A retrospective cohort study was conducted using quota sampling (n 150) based on age and residence. Dietary intake was assessed using a validated FFQ. Physical activity level and dietary aspects were compared according to length of residence (acculturation), age at migration (past exposure) and social ties with the home country (current exposure).

Subjects and setting

Tunisian migrant men residing in the South of France.

Results

Migrants who had lived in France for more than 9 years had a higher percentage contribution of meat to energy intake (P = 0·04), a higher Na intake (P = 0·04), a lower percentage contribution of sugar and sweets (P = 0·04) and a lower percentage of carbohydrates (P = 0·03) than short-term migrants. Men who migrated before 21 years of age had a higher Na intake than ‘late’ migrants (P = 0·02). Men who had distant social ties with Tunisia had a lower physical activity level (P = 0·01) whereas men who had close ties had a higher percentage of fat (P = 0·01) and a higher ratio of MUFA to SFA (P = 0·02).

Conclusions

Acculturation led to a convergence of some characteristics to those of the host population, while some results (meat and salt consumption) were at variance with other acculturation studies. Past and current exposure to the home country helped maintain some positive aspects of the diet. Nevertheless, present dietary changes in Tunisia could soon lessen these features.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email maire@mpl.ird.fr

References

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Keywords

Influence of acculturation among Tunisian migrants in France and their past/present exposure to the home country on diet and physical activity

  • Caroline Méjean (a1) (a2), Pierre Traissac (a1), Sabrina Eymard-Duvernay (a1), Francis Delpeuch (a1) and Bernard Maire (a1)...

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