Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 774–785

Barriers to Lifestyle Behavioral Change in Migrant South Asian Populations

  • Mihir Patel
  • Erica Phillips-Caesar
  • Carla Boutin-Foster
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10903-011-9550-x

Cite this article as:
Patel, M., Phillips-Caesar, E. & Boutin-Foster, C. J Immigrant Minority Health (2012) 14: 774. doi:10.1007/s10903-011-9550-x

Abstract

The purpose of this literature review is to describe and assess the cultural barriers to behavior change in migrant South Asians, given the high morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease in this population. We reviewed studies that explored the relationship between South Asian culture in the Diaspora and lifestyle behaviors. Our review produced 91 studies, of which 25 discussed the relationship between various aspects of South Asians’ belief system and their approach to modifying lifestyle habits. We identify 6 specific categories of beliefs which play the largest role in the difficulties South Asians describe with behavior change: gender roles, body image, physical activity misconceptions, cultural priorities, cultural identity, and explanatory model of disease. Future research and interventions should account for these cultural factors to successfully improve dietary habits and physical activity levels in migrant South Asian populations.

Keywords

South AsianDietExerciseCardiovascular diseaseCultural barriers

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mihir Patel
    • 1
  • Erica Phillips-Caesar
    • 2
  • Carla Boutin-Foster
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Divison of General Internal MedicineSt. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluative Sciences ResearchWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA