Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 372–380 | Cite as

Food Insecurity Among Cambodian Refugee Women Two Decades Post Resettlement

  • Jerusha Nelson Peterman
  • Parke E. Wilde
  • Linda Silka
  • Odilia I. Bermudez
  • Beatrice Lorge Rogers
Original Paper

Abstract

Resettled refugees have high rates of chronic disease, which may be partially due to persistent food insecurity. This study describes food experiences on arrival in the U.S. and current food security status and examines characteristics related to food insecurity in a well-established refugee community. Focus groups and a survey assessed food security status and personal characteristics of Cambodian women in Lowell, MA, USA. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine relationships with food insecurity. Current rates of food insecurity are high. In multivariate models, food insecurity was positively associated with being depressed and being widowed, and negatively associated with higher income and acculturation. Early arrivers (1980s) had difficulty in the U.S. food system on arrival, while later arrivers (1990s–2000s) did not. Refugee agencies should consider strategically devoting resources to ensure successful early transition to the U.S. food environment and long-term food security of refugees.

Keywords

Refugees Food insecurity Acculturation Depression 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerusha Nelson Peterman
    • 1
  • Parke E. Wilde
    • 2
  • Linda Silka
    • 3
  • Odilia I. Bermudez
    • 4
  • Beatrice Lorge Rogers
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NutritionThe University of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Friedman School of Nutrition Science and PolicyTufts UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.Margaret Chase Smith Policy CenterUniversity of MaineOronoUSA
  4. 4.Tufts Medical School of MedicineBostonUSA

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