Diet Proves to Be an Adjustment for New Canadians

Diet Proves to Be an Adjustment for New Canadians

tweet me:
Diet proves to be an adjustment for new Canadians...results from @MOSAICBC survey http://3bl.me/d8sq2v. #HeartMonth #BCBuyLocal

Summary

According to a recent study by MOSAIC, 18% of immigrants to Canada feel they have a good understanding of what it means to have a “heart healthy” diet. In addition, 50% of all immigrants are unaware of, or unfamiliar with, Canada’s Food Guide.

Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 7:00am

CONTENT: Blog

Food is often seen as a comfort to most of us, so what happens when you move to a new country and are faced with new foods that you’re not accustomed to eating?

Looking to find the answer to this, MOSAIC – a multilingual non-profit organization that provides settlement and integration services for immigrants– partnered with the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) to conduct an online survey through the Mustel Group.

Targeting residents of British Columbia who were born in another country and speak a language other than English in their homes, the survey was completed by 218 people throughout January.

The results were unveiled this week to correspond with the beginning of Heart Month and the launch of MOSAIC’s first-ever healthy eating guide for new Canadians – A Mosaic of Flavours. It was found that 50% of all immigrants are unaware of, or unfamiliar with, Canada’s Food Guide. This number increases to 60% for men (in general), those who have been in Canada for less than 10 years, those born in China, and those with an annual household income of less than $50,000.

In addition, the finding show that only 18% of immigrants feel they have a good understanding of what it means to have a “heart healthy” diet. Once explained, most respondents indicated that they do follow this type of diet at home, however 41% of immigrants said they don’t follow a heart healthy diet when eating out.

For the past 25 years, MOSAIC has provided information and guidance to newcomers about food and nutrition, and promoted field trips to local grocery stores in order to educate clients about locally available foods.

With the poll results revealing that 68% of immigrants have made changes to their diet since arriving in Canada, MOSAIC saw a need to develop a resource for new Canadians that focuses on heart-healthy eating to help them transition into eating local products from British Columbia.

“We recognize that some cultures aren’t accustomed to incorporating certain fish and seafood in their diets,” said Ninu Kang, Director of Communications and Development, MOSAIC. “With the prevalence of heart disease on the rise in some of Metro Vancouver’s multi-cultural communities, it is our desire that through our partnership with Coast Fresh, we can inspire our clientele to incorporate locally-raised salmon, and other seafood in their diets – helping them reduce their risk of heart disease.”

Partnering with local chefs in the Metro Vancouver area (many of whom are immigrants themselves), as well as the BC Salmon Farmers Association, MOSAIC is able to provide a free resource booklet to their clientele.

As the first of its kind, this resource booklet features heart-healthy, affordable, easy to cook recipes that take advantage of using British Columbia's locally grown seafood/fish, while catering to the traditional flavour pallets of the new immigrants in Metro Vancouver.  

The booklet, along with additional recipes and chef bios are available at www.mosaicbc.com/healthyeating. Think heart smart and try out a one of the recipes! #BCBuyLocal