Nutritional habits among members of the Somali communities are normally influenced with the religious values, traditions and family habits, education, and ensuing healthcare counsels from the area. However a small section of the community also involves in drug abuse which can at some extent influence their nutritional habits. Under the religion of Islam, certain foods are prohibited while others are allowed. In this regard, the Somali people may avoid foods such as baby formulas, cheese and yoghurt due to the concern that they may contain pork. During fasting, people normally eat foods such as samosas, manadazis, homemade cakes among others that have a lot of calories due to their high sugar and fat contents. Due to education and westernization, acculturated diets such as French fries, soda pops and high-fat snacks are becoming popular. Educated and working women have also reported harmful ways breastfeeding like pumping their milk to breastfeed the baby in a bid to avoid being disfigured (Haq, 2003).
The tradition states that camel milk is the best milk that a child can have. Nonetheless, when a woman constipates it is believed to be a good idea. All these factors that involve high calorie foods have led people of the community to develop poor dental health, diabetes, lipid abnormality and other conditions. For those who consume hat, they will undergo constipation and lack appetite for their subsequent meals; such kinds of people have been likely to suffer from anemia due to decreased food consumption (Haq, 2003).
Culture is the major factor that influences Hispanic eating habits, and religious influence on diet is not very strong in this society. Quite noticeable, members of this group will tend to follow eating habits in their country of origin. Moreover, as their culture is family centered, dietary decisions will be determined by the family. A dietary analysis on this group has revealed that they tend to consume a lot of grains. However, their consumptions in calcium, Vitamin E and zinc have fallen below the daily recommended level. Further, acculturation and education in the United States have seen them altering their dietary lifestyles, and they have tended to take in more of vitamin A and C, proteins and calcium. In this regard, they risk suffering from diabetes mellitus and obesity. Study results have also shown that diet requirements among individuals abusing drugs can be compromised (Waibel, 2014).
In the Jewish community, it has been established that the Jewish orthodox religion greatly influence eating habits in the society. Families, even those in urban areas, also support such courses. As a lot of food is prepared during Shabbat, some youth may have fear of tending to overeat during the weekends. However, others may without notice tend to overeat a lot, which may lead to constipation. For those who stay in America or other western world, Jewish families are also facing secularization even in eating habits. As the secular society believes that a girl should be thin especially during dating, those who are educated and highly secularized are adopting the culture. In this regard, more and more Jewish women and girls have engaged in harmful eating habits such as reducing the quantity of their meals to perfect their body (Waibel, 2014).
Chinese mothers, and hence their families are still having strong traditional believes regarding diets. The mothers have wrong perception about the weight of the baby; when a baby increases its weight, it may be regarded as a sign of increasing health, instead of the likely obesity and other complications. The mothers therefore may concentrate on energy-dense foods and abandon nutrient-prone foods. Importantly too, as majority of Chinese have greatly been influenced by Buddhism, which prohibits taking life, most of them would be vegetarians with variations of either strict or non-strict vegetarian. Moreover, some foods have been wrongfully prohibited during pregnancy. In this regard, iron supplements are thought to harden the baby’s bones and soya source may darken the skin. Currently, the shift in eating habits among Chinese is being influenced by two main factors. There are those who believe that, as the people’s income and education increase, they will be demanding more fast foods. The increasing snacking behavior in China is going to lead people in weight and diabetes related problems (Waibel, 2014).
Among Black Americans
Many African American can trace their ancestry direct from the South Saharan region. Traditionally, although their foods are believed to contain many nutritious items such as green and yellow leafy vegetables which are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, they are hampered with traditional methods of preparation. The preparation methods involved can include deep frying, adding gravy or seasoning with ham, which increase the consumers fat and sodium intake. Moreover, traditionally the families of the community have their staple food as soul foods that include fried pork chops, fried chicken, ribs and cornbread. The majority of these dishes contains a lot of butter, fat and salts. Further, with the increasing level of education and work demands, many African Americans who stay out of their homes are also finding fast foods very convenient to them. For those who remain behind, especially women and girls, it has been shown that they do not see any social pressure to deal with their weight, and it is likely that they will not care about what they eat. These eating behaviors and attitudes will definitely increase their likelihood of suffering from obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes among other diseases. However, many studies also concur that the main reason for such harmful eating habits has been their socioeconomic backgrounds (Cowling, 2013).
Among White Americans
Among white American, eating habits are not very much traditionalized, and one can realize the lack of family dinners too. In this regard, people can eat any quantity and quality of food at any time as much as they desire without caring about being coerced on calorie intake. In fact, in the whole of America, anybody can take any meal regardless of the time. Although various medical interventions are being set up to discourage the consumption of snacks, it is still a long way to go. In fact constant snacking is encouraged by fitness experts and nutritionists, because they believe that when one eats a big meal, it is likely that it will derive away his energy during assimilation. In this regard, the white American’s mode of eating can make those involved prone to dangerous diseases such as overweight and other medical conditions (Waibel, 2014).
As emanates from the Hindu religion, the family will be influenced to obtain the right kind of foods. The religion which prohibits eating meat strongly encourages vegetarianism. In this regard, it leaves them with no option other than eating potatoes, carbohydrates and fry foods which are central to their conditions of being obese. During their religious festivals, celebrations often involve savories, high-fat sweets, high calorie and high-carbohydrate foods. Indian family rules also set their meals to be served in late night. However, consumption of snacks and other food types of high calories normally begin earlier, a time when the majority of people are experiencing hunger. In this regard, people will consume a lot of calories, making them very much obese. Various nutritionists have analyzed that as those who prepare meals normally use relatively harmful trans-fats, it is just another instances those concerned will endure high fat intake. Some religious practices such as fasting without taking any single meal for a day have also been noted to cause malnutrition among Indians, especially those that profess Hinduism as their religion. In other cases, it has been noted that when people fast in such a style, it will result in excess gastric acid build up in one’s digestive system which will result in a burning stomach, sour test in the mouth and other symptoms of illness. Spices such as pickles, pepper and other food preservatives are injurious by nature and may destroy the natural flavor of foods. However, with the changing socio-economic environment in the Indian sub-continent, more and more people are now considering buying snacks, due to limited time at work and school. As already discussed, this may increase people’s weight to result in obesity, hypertension and other cardiovascular problems (Khosla, 2013).
Generally, most Arabs are predominantly Muslims and therefore families will to adhere to the teachings of Islam while preparing or demanding foods from sellers. In this regard, under the Muslim rules, the families will have to avoid certain foods that are prohibited by the religion. Therefore foods such as pork, baby formulas, cheese and yoghurt will be rejected due to the concern that they may have pork in them. During fasting, especially when one undergoes prolonged thirst, it may result in excess gastric acid build up in one’s digestive system which will result in a burning stomach, sour test in the mouth and other symptoms of illness. Further, during the fasting too, the Arab Muslims use foods such as mutabbaq, cardamom cookie, kabsa and dates which contain a lot of sugar calories, and they will be key in causing obesity. Taking into account that Saudi Arabia has a relatively upcoming middle class, it has been noted that adolescents with sedentary behaviors are likely to fall into the trap of inactivity, which is likely to increase their obesity. This may be aggravated taking into account that western-style food stores such as McDonalds are finding fast foods to be on high demand, especially among elite groups. Notable too the Saudi Kingdom being largely a Desert country, people will involve in harmful eating habits when they do not consume adequate fruits, vegetables and dairy products (Abuzaid, 2012).
Among the Inuit of Nunavik
As a tradition, Inuit’s food sources are derived from sea mammals, land mammals, fresh water and salt water fish, birds and eggs. They also supplement it with berries, tubers, roots, sea weeds and herbaceous plants like firewood and grasses. However, it has been revealed by some researchers that members of the Inuit community who stick to their oil fish diets normally surfer from cardiac diseases. The oil capsules from oil fish are believed to increase the LDL cholesterol level, interfering with glucose metabolism and contributing to the likelihood of one getting type II diabetes (Waibel, 2014).
Among the Tuaregs in the Saharan Africa
The Tuaregs are nomadic people who live in the Saharan part of Africa in Mali, Niger and Algeria. Being nomadic, their live depends entirely on the animals that they have. Therefore, their predominant foods are goats and camel’s milk and meat, eaten with flat bread made from millet and dates. However, they can exchange the animal products with grains. As droughts are fiercely sweeping across the Sahara region, they will have to adopt cheese, grains and vegetables as part of their diet. Apparently the Tuaregs do not benefit from eating fruits and vegetables, which are essential in boosting a person’s immune system. Nonetheless, taking into account that the Tuaregs are also Muslims, it is possible that during fasting, especially when one undergoes prolonged thirst, it may result in excess gastric acid build up in one’s digestive system which will result in a burning stomach, sour test in the mouth and other symptoms of illness (Eveleigh, 2013).
Abuzaid, O.I. (2012).Eating patterns and physical activity characteristics among urban and
rural students in Saudi Arabia. Nutrition & Health Sciences Dissertations & Thesis.
Cowling, L.L.(2013).Health and dietary issues affecting African Americans. Health and
Dietary Issues Affecting African American.
Eveleigh, M. (2013).Surviving the Sahara: Three weeks with the Tuareg. CNN. Retrieved on
7 December 2014 from http://travel.cnn.com/surviving-sahara-468896
Haq, A.S.(2003).Report on Somali diet common dietary beliefs and practices of Somali
participants in WIC Nutrition Education Groups. Seattle: Harborview Medical Centre
Khosla, Ishi. (2013).8 Indian diet habits that are bad for your health!. The Health Site.
Retrieved on 7 December 2014 from
Waibel, R.S. (2014). Religion and Dietary Practices. Faqs.org. Retrieved on
7 December 2014 from