Determinants of dietary and physical activity behaviour patterns associated with risk of adiposity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs): a study of Australian residents born in sub-Saharan Africa

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Copyright: Addo, Isaac
Abstract
A significant amount of research suggests that excess weight gain can increase the risk of developing some non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In 2014, a screening project organised by the Western Melbourne Regional Development Australia noted that 68% of Australian residents of African ancestry were overweight, obese or morbidly obese, which was higher than the national average of 61.3%. Previous studies indicate that post-migration changes in dietary and physical activity behaviours may contribute to these weight-related issues. However, there is a dearth of research examining the factors associated with dietary and physical activity behaviours among Australian residents born in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Given the adverse health implications associated with excess weight again, it is important to investigate the dietary and physical activity behaviours of Australian residents born in SSA, to inform appropriate health promotion policies and interventions. This study examined factors associated with post-migration dietary and physical activity behaviours among Australian residents born in SSA. The study employed a mixed-method approach, comprising in-depth qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys. Using the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria as the study setting, a quota sampling strategy was used to recruit 24 participants for the in-depth interviews, and a total of 253 respondents were recruited for the survey. Overall, the findings indicate significant changes in dietary and physical activity behaviours after participants settled in Australia. To a large extent, the post-migration changes in dietary and physical activity behaviours reflect less healthy behaviours and can put participants at serious risk of weight-related NCDs. Multiple interrelated factors, comprising acculturation, socio-demographic factors (e.g. age, duration of residence in Australia, rural or urban residency before immigration, and unemployment), environmental factors (e.g. availability and affordability of traditional African food and physical activity products), cultural factors (e.g. cultural beliefs about body sizes), and social-cognitive factors (e.g. attitudes and behavioural intention), were significantly associated with the reported changes in behaviours. It is, therefore, important to develop nuanced health promotion interventions to address the factors associated with the less healthy dietary and physical activity behaviours reported among this under-researched population.
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Author(s)
Addo, Isaac
Supervisor(s)
Brener, Loren
de Wit, John
Asante, Augustine
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Publication Year
2020
Resource Type
Thesis
Degree Type
PhD Doctorate
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