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Journal Articles (Review Article) Public Health Nutrition Year : 2001

An overview of the health status of migrants in France, in relation to their dietary practices

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Abstract

Objective: To review studies on the morbidity, mortality and nutrition of migrant populations in France. Design: A systematic search of the bibliographic database Medline, and direct contact with associations and institutions concerned with migrants' health. Results: In France, as in other host countries, migrants belong to the lowest socioeconomic strata. They have on average better health and lower mortality than the local-born population. Health benefits are particularly noticeable in Mediterranean men, especially for affluence-related diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. North African men smoke as heavily as the local-born of the same occupational categories, and yet their mortality rates from lung cancer are notably lower. Such a paradox may be the result of a synergy between different phenomena such as the selection of the fittest applicants for immigration and the maintenance of healthy lifestyles from the countries of origin. In contrast, migrant women do not enjoy the same health advantages, possibly because they are less likely to be selected on the basis of their health and because they are often non-working. Adult migrants from southern Europe and North Africa report dietary practices consistent with the typical Mediterranean diet, which is renowned for its positive effects on health. Conclusions: The diet of Mediterranean adults living in France may partly explain the low rates of chronic diseases and high adult life expectancy observed in migrant men from northern Africa. information about their diets might provide clues for the design of nutritional education campaigns aimed at low-income people.

Dates and versions

hal-03759751 , version 1 (24-08-2022)

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Nicole Darmon, Myriam Khlat. An overview of the health status of migrants in France, in relation to their dietary practices. Public Health Nutrition, 2001, 4 (2), pp.163-172. ⟨10.1079/phn200064⟩. ⟨hal-03759751⟩
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