A Research Agenda for Migration and Health
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A Research Agenda for Migration and Health

Edited by K. Bruce Newbold and Kathi Wilson

Evidenced by Europe’s refugee crisis and the movement of undocumented workers into the US, international migration has emerged as one of the most pressing issues faced by national and regional governments. The health impacts of migration can be significant and multifaceted, with access to health care often denied or limited, with immigrants experiencing declining health. The health of more vulnerable groups, including women and the disabled, is further compromised. A Research Agenda for Migration and Health provides insight into key research directions and scholarship, with topics including food security, disability, cultural safety, and health care access.
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Chapter 7: Securing culturally appropriate food for refugee women in Canada: opportunities for research

Katherine B. Stelfox and K. Bruce Newbold


Food is not only relevant for health and nutrition, but is a vital component of one’s cultural and emotional wellbeing. Migration poses many challenges to the way cultural and nutritious food is accessed and consumed, especially for refugees fleeing unstable or dangerous living situations. Particularly vulnerable are refugee women, as they face unique challenges associated with maternal food insecurity and caregiving. Immigration to a new host country should offer improved quality of life, however, this is not always the case when it comes to food security. Issues of food security transcend the migration process and continue once in the host country, encompassing a wide spectrum of issues, from a lack of nutritious food to an overabundance of poor nutrient food. Once settled in a new country immigrants and refugees will experience food insecurity more significantly than the non-immigrant population, as well as a decline in nutrition and health as they gradually assimilate to a western lifestyle. Failure to address food security issues for vulnerable populations such as refugees reflects a lack of commitment and poor planning on the part of the host country, opening the door for key research areas that could aid in improving health and wellbeing.

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