Food consumption, nutrient intake, and dietary patterns in Ghanaian migrants in Europe and their compatriots in Ghana
This article (PDF) in the journal Food & Nutrition Research aims to describe the dietary behavior among Ghanaian migrants in Europe and their compatriots living in different Ghanaian settings (urban and rural). Contributions of macro-nutrients to the daily energy intake was different across the three study sites. A trend was observed towards higher intakes of westernized foods in Europe followed by urban Ghana and rural Ghana. Still, the same was seen for food groups with proved beneficial health effects, including whole grain cereals and vegetables. The opposite trend was discernible for typical Ghanaian fermented maize products, palm oil, and roots, tubers, and plantain. Three dietary patterns were identified. Adherence to the ‘mixed’ pattern was associated with female sex, higher education, and European residency. The ‘rice, pasta, meat, and fish’ pattern was associated with male sex, younger age, higher education, and urban Ghanaian environment. Adherence to the ‘roots, tubers, and plantain’ pattern was mainly related to rural Ghanaian residency. Differences in food preferences were observed across study sites: in rural Ghana, diet concentrated on starchy foods; in urban Ghana, nutrition was dominated by animal-based products; and in Europe, diet appeared to be highly diverse. These differences in dietary behavior were consistent with the nutrition transition theory through changes in the environment, due to migration or rapid urbanization. Yet, in this West African population, traditional and indigenous foods continued to be consumed at all study sites.