“There is something about Africa” : a study of female Ghanaian students’ awareness and behaviour in relation to nutrition and temporary migration
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- Institutt for geografi 
This study explores how the local nutrition environment influences the knowledge, awareness and behaviour of Ghanaian, female students towards health in relation to nutrition. It examines how temporary migration from environment of origin in Ghana to a new environment in Norway influences behaviour towards nutrition and obesity. Focus is given to how changes in energy input are prominent due to changes in environment and option of food markets. The study applies the theory of structuration and a model on triangle of human ecology, the latter being interpreted in a contextual way concerning nutrition and behaviour, and health. Moreover, the conceptual model on studies in nutrition environments by Glanz et al. (2005) is discussed. The models are modified to include how the local nutrition environment influences the consumer regarding diet, nutrition and obesity. Additionally, theory on acculturation in relation to temporary migration is discussed. The thesis is founded on a qualitative methodological approach to a ‘quasi-case control study’, using interviews and supplementary observations as methods of study. The informant material includes two preselected, though different informant groups. A total of 19 female, Ghanaian students was interviewed, 12 students in Cape Coast, Ghana and 7 other females in Trondheim, Norway. The informants in Cape Coast represent a ‘quasi- control group’ and reference to the female informants in Trondheim. Nutrition and obesity are related to both community cultural behaviour and individual choices and structures. Food choice and dietary behaviour is connected to local consumer and community food behaviour. It discusses how time to a new environment, through procurement or food preparations, and environmental factors influence individual behaviour and agency concerning food. The most influential factors in the daily dietary behaviour are found to be taste, costs, nutrition values and time as a resource in daily life. The environment has a limited conditional influence on nutrition and dietary behaviour. Temporary migration by the informants in Trondheim indicates an adjustment to a nutrition situation, though based on attempts to maintain their Ghanaian nutrition, and modifications due to relative price differences and food assortment.