Nutrition Research in African and Caribbean communities

Every year in the United Kingdom the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) is conducted to gather information on dietary habits and the health status of the population. The results from the annual survey is used to develop nutrition policies and monitor nutrition progress of the population. The NDNS, however is not representative of the entire population, as ethnic minority groups are not largely represented in the survey. This means that there are not enough persons who identify as Black African and Black Caribbean or any other ethnic minority group in the survey.

In order to get a better understanding of dietary habits and health status of ethnic minority groups, more nutrition research needs to be conducted. Currently, the research on nutritional status of Black African and Black Caribbean populations is outdated with no current nutritional composition information available on their traditional foods. The most recent nutrition surveys of ethnic minority nutrition and health status was the Health Survey for England 2004: The Health of Minority Ethnic Groups and the Black and Minority Health Report in Greater Glasgow (2006). With some ethnic minorities experiencing poorer outcomes in comparison to the general population, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, it is a public health concern to investigate the nutritional status of these population groups. PhD Research I’m currently in my second year of my PhD and will be in my third year in October at Leeds Beckett University.

My research project will address gaps in the research on dietary habits and health status of ethnic minorities, specifically Black Africans and Caribbean populations living in the UK. My PhD is entitled Nutrition and Health Survey of West African, North African and Caribbean adults in Yorkshire. Persons are eligible to participate if they are 18 years and older, from a West African, North African or Caribbean background and live in Yorkshire. Data Collection Before Covid-19 I collected data face-to-face with participants in two separate visits. Data collected included: • Height and weight measurements • Waist and hip circumferences • Blood samples; cholesterol, blood glucose, HbA1c (a measure of blood sugar levels over the past weeks/months) and liver function test • Dietary data • Socio-economic questionnaire Due to the impact of Covid-19, I’ve had to adapt my data collection measures. All data collection is now online, I use Google Meet and WhatsApp for the two video calls and post all equipment; digital weighing scale, blood pressure monitor, blood glucose monitor and a tape measure to participants. I also send YouTube instructional videos of how to take measurements at home to participants. We all have had to adapt to working from home and “PhD-ing” from home, so it is great that NutriTank allows us to keep connected and updated on the latest evidence-based research through courses and webinars. It is important that nutrition research within Black African and Black Caribbean is not overlooked, as this population group has a higher risk prevalence of developing nutrition related diseases i.e. type 2 diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

Recruitment is ongoing, if are interested and think you meet the criteria get in touch via email [email protected] or phone 0113 812 4052. To keep updated on my research progress follow me on Twitter: @lsenior19 and Instagram: lauren_senior_.

Nutritank offers a space for learning and keeping up to date with the evidence-based courses and webinars.

Share this post