Case Report | Case Rep J. 2018;2(1):007 | Open Access
Impact of Migration on Diet, Physical Activity, and Body Weight among International Students Moving from the Gulf Countries to the United States
Zainab Alyousif and Anne E MathewsPDF
In 2015/2016, over one million international students studied in the United States, with Saudi Arabia ranking third. However, exposure to an unfamiliar environment may affect eating patterns and risk of chronic disease. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of migration on dietary intake, dietary behaviors, physical activity, and body weight among international students moving from Gulf countries to the US. This case series was conducted during fall 2016 and spring 2017 in Florida, US. Eight students from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were recruited within their first month of arriving in the US. Participants completed questionnaires about their diet and physical activity before coming to the U.S and had their height and weight assessed. Anthropometric assessments and the same questionnaires were repeated in December 2016 and in April 2017. Participants experienced a significant decrease in their intake of fruit, vegetables, and sugar after coming to the US. The frequency of food shopping was significantly increased and their physical activity was significantly decreased, but these changes did not affect their body weight. This 7-month prospective study found that international students from the Gulf countries had an overall less healthy dietary intake after coming to the US. Findings from this study may support the rationale for an educational program for the international students to maintain healthy lifestyle habits after coming to the US. Further research is needed to determine longer-term eating pattern changes in students from Gulf countries studying in the US.
Keywords: Migration; International students; Gulf countries; Diet, Physical activity; Weight
Citation: Alyousif Z, Mathews AE. Impact of Migration on Diet, Physical Activity, and Body Weight among International Students Moving from the Gulf Countries to the United States. Case Rep J. 2018;2(1):007