Masculinities, diet and senior Punjabi Sikh immigrant men: Food for Western thought?

  • Oliffe J
  • Grewal S
  • Bottorff J
 et al. 
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Abstract

The high rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease among Punjabi Sikh (PS) men are often linked to diet. Although some high fat and sugar foods in both traditional and Western foods negatively influence these illnesses, little is known about what underpins PS immigrant men's dietary practices. This article details the connections between masculinities and diet to reveal how varying gendered ideals can inform and influence the practices of senior PS Canadian immigrant men who attended community-based men's groups. Participants' masculine ideals and their alignment to those ideals were deeply rooted in spirituality and traditional cultures, which shaped the use of specific foods and beverages, yet there was also evidence that the availability and affordability of dairy products and alcohol in Canada strongly influenced men's diets. While the men's group leaders educated attendees about diet, ideologies reinforcing ties between femininities and the cooking of meals often prevailed. Linkages between participants' masculine ideals and dietary practices were both similar and discordant with the findings reported in studies of Western men. The findings drawn from this study may direct what, how and where dietary messages are targeted to senior PS Canadian immigrant men. Adapted from the source document. Reprinted by permission of Blackwell Publishers

Author-supplied keywords

  • Immigration and men's diet
  • Masculinity and diet
  • Punjabi Sikh men's health
  • South Asian men's health

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Authors

  • John OliffeUniversity of British Columbia

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  • Suki Grewal

  • Joan L. Bottorff

  • Jasvinder Dhesi

  • H. Bindy

  • K. Kang

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