Reducing the risk of heart disease among Indian Australians: Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding food practices - A focus group study

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Journal Article
Food and Nutrition Research, 2015, 59 pp. 1 - 7
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© 2015 Ritin Fernandez et al. Background: Australia has a growing number of Asian Indian immigrants. Unfortunately, this population has an increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). Dietary adherence is an important strategy in reducing risk for CHD. This study aimed to gain greater understanding of the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs relating to food practices in Asian Indian Australians. Methods: Two focus groups with six participants in each were recruited using a convenience sampling technique. Verbatim transcriptions were made and thematic content analysis undertaken. Results: Four main themes that emerged from the data included: migration as a pervasive factor for diet and health; importance of food in maintaining the social fabric; knowledge and understanding of health and diet; and elements of effective interventions. Discussion: Diet is a complex constructed factor in how people express themselves individually, in families and communities. There are many interconnected factors influencing diet choice that goes beyond culture and religion to include migration and acculturation. Conclusions: Food and associated behaviors are an important aspect of the social fabric. Entrenched and inherent knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and traditions frame individuals' point of reference around food and recommendations for an optimal diet.
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