Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Dietary Intake, Food Security, and Acculturation Among Somali Refugees in The United States: Results of a Pilot Study


The pilot study was conducted to test the appropriateness of a nutrition and food security survey and estimate the prevalence of food security and its relationship with dietary intake habits among Somali refugees (n = 35) resettled in the United States. The other main objective was to estimate the association between acculturation and dietary intake habits. The interviews with the Somali mothers indicated that 72% of households were food insecure and, in comparison, the intake of fruits and green leafy vegetables was significantly lower among the food insecure households than among secure households (p < .05). Both of the acculturation indicators used in this survey, living in the United States for four years or more and having English language proficiency, were associated with a high intake of snack items among participants. Future studies examining the influence of food security and acculturation on health outcomes such as body weight are warranted among refugees in the United States.

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Publish Date: 
June 1, 2011

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Hartley Retires as Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center

David Hartley, PhD

David Hartley, PhD, the Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center (MRHRC) and a Research Professor of Public Health has announced that he will be retiring from the University of Southern Maine August 31st, 2014. David came to the University in 1994 and has directed the MRHRC since 2004. Andy Coburn, PhD, Research Professor of Public Health, will take over as the new MRHRC Director. Erika Ziller, PhD continues in her role as Deputy Director. David has had a distinguished career in rural health and rural health research, and has made lasting contributions to the field with his work on rural behavioral health, rural disparities and health, and rural active living.

A celebration will be scheduled in early fall to honor David and his many contributions to the field and the University.


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