Here is the full transcript of Lauren Senior’s talk titled “Why Eating Healthy Looks Different For Everyone” at TEDxLeedsBeckettUniversity conference.
Lauren Senior’s talk, “Why Eating Healthy Looks Different For Everyone,” explores the concept of dietary acculturation, particularly among African and Caribbean immigrants in the UK. She discusses how migration leads to changes in traditional diets, often influenced by the availability and cost of native foods in a new country.
Senior emphasizes the impact of globalization on eating habits, leading to an increase in high-fat, high-sugar, and high-salt diets, which affects the health of immigrants. She critiques the UK’s Eat Well Guide for not adequately representing traditional foods from diverse cultures. Ultimately, Senior calls for more culturally inclusive public health strategies that acknowledge the varying definitions of a healthy diet across different cultures.
Listen to the audio version here:
Food is an integral part of everyone’s culture. Everybody eats. When you leave home to go to another country or to go to university, you think about your favorite food and who you ate with. Since eating is more than just nourishing your body.
When I think about my favorite food, I think about the sleepy town of Port Royal, Jamaica, a restaurant called Glorious. My order is fried fish and festival. The wait time might be long, but it’s worth it. The crispy skin of the fish, the tender flesh melts in my mouth.
Festival, nice and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, is a perfect side to go with the fried fish. It’s absolutely delicious. Now think about your favorite food and imagine that you could no longer have it as often because of a cost or accessibility. How would you feel about that?
Migration and Dietary Changes
This happens when persons migrate to another country. They may no longer have a traditional diet as often because of migration. People migrate for a number of reasons. For career opportunities, education, and leaving war-torn countries.
When this happens, traditional diets may not be had as often as before. So how does migration affect your dietary habits? The researcher, Sassy Abbot, says that dietary acculturation is when migrants adopt the eating habits and food choices of the host country. It doesn’t happen overnight, but the complex factors impact dietary acculturation.