South Asian women’s perspectives on food preparation: using an art-based activity to elicit data from a seldom heard group

West MidlandsMetabolic and Endocrine
Published Date: 1 Feb 2012

South Asian women’s perspectives on food preparation: using an art-based activity to elicit data from a seldom heard group

Background

  • There is a tendency for South Asian (SA) culture to be portrayed as uniform and rigid, having a negative influence on health. SA diets in particular are believed to be implicated in causing obesity and type 2 diabetes as a result of their high sugar and fat content.

  • Our research explored the relationship of faith, culture, health and food in SA communities in Birmingham, in order to generate evidence for addressing cultural difference in the design and provision of health services.
  • We used the activity of Rangoli (a popular and decorative South Asian art form) with the aim to mirror food preparation and cooking, thus providing a focus for informal conversation and social interaction about food and its role in health.

Findings

  • What, why and how food is prepared is a complex sociocultural phenomenon that is unlikely to be amenable to educational interventions which seek to address a biomedical knowledge deficit.