‘The worst of the Bangladeshi and the worst of the British’: exploring eating patterns and practices among British Bangladeshi adolescents in east London.
Sommaire de l'article
This article examines how aspects of a specific locality, history and set of practices interact to produce an obesogenic environment. The analysis grid for environments linked to obesity (ANGELO) framework and a biocultural approach are used to examine one obesogenic environment–that experienced by British Bangladeshi adolescents (ages 11-14 years old) in Tower Hamlets, east London. Interdisciplinary literature and methods explore how physical, economic, cultural, and political pressures in school, street, and home micro-environments influence eating patterns and practices.
This ethnographic research included living on a council estate and working as an assistant physical education teacher in two secondary schools in Tower Hamlets. Anthropometric and socioeconomic characteristics were collected from the young people whose physical education classes I assisted (n=447). Then interviews and questionnaires were completed with a subsample of participants (n=165) drawn from the first phase of research to understand the factors that influence eating patterns.
Among this group of adolescents, interwoven cultural and structural pressures encourage frequent consumption of energy-dense foods in their schools, streets, and homes. They were exposed to factors that have led to the widespread increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity such as the increased availability and affordability of energy-dense foods. In addition, they faced cultural and structural pressures associated with being the adolescent children of immigrants from Bangladesh and living in an economically depressed neighborhood.
To develop a comprehensive understanding of the factors that may lead to weight gain in different ethnic, geographic and socioeconomic contexts it is important to examine the pressures specific to that context that might influence the variety and frequency of food consumption. This type of research may lead to the identification of points of intervention that are specific to the pressures and sensitivities of particular environments.