Journal List > Korean J Nutr > v.44(4) > 1043887

Kim, Kim, and Seo: Nutrition Education for Female Immigrants in Multicultural Families Using a Multicultural Approach: In-depth Interviews with Female Immigrants and Nutrition Education Professionals


The purpose of this study was to investigate dietary behaviors and nutritional knowledge among immigrant women in multicultural families. In addition, this study reveals a necessity for nutrition education, which is apparent to both immigrant women living in multicultural families as well as nutrition education experts. The survey was conducted with 30 immigrant women within multicultural families in Seoul. The dietary behaviors of the women were significantly different by their period of residence. The longer they had resided in Korea, the higher their dietary behavior score. However, there was no significant difference in nutrition knowledge by their period of residence. This study also conducted in-depth personal interviews with 8 immigrant women who lived in Seoul, and with 4 nutrition education experts. These interviews were performed to provide profound insights regarding the content and means of nutrition education for immigrant women. Nutrition education for immigrant women living in multicultural families should proceed at a basic level in terms of language and content, using bilingual (Korean and their native language) education materials. Education topics and content need to be developed differently according to the level of Korean comprehension and period of residence in Korea. Also, this multicultural approach should be adapted when planning nutrition education since immigrant women have various acculturation levels, and the content and means of education should be adjusted to these acculturation levels. Management after nutrition education is necessary for immigrant women who do not have sufficient understanding of the Korean language. Practical educational methods such as real cooking practices and food purchasing simulations must be developed. Finally, the results suggest that the government needs to establish a systematic plan for nutrition education among immigrant women living in multicultural families. Policy support such as training nutrition educators on multicultural individuals residing in Korea is necessary for active and effective nutritional education.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1
Nutritional education model for immigrant women in multi-cultural families.
Fig. 2
Model of liaison among departments for immigrant women in multi-cultural families.
Table 1
Demographics of survey respondents
Table 2
Dietary behavior by residence period and children

1) mean ± SD 2) : reversed item 3) *: p < 0.05

Table 3
Nutrition knowledge score by residence period and children

1) mean ± SD

Table 4
Information of immigrant women in multicultural families
Table 5
Results of in-depth interview with immigrant women of multicultural families
Table 6
Information of nutrition education professionals
Table 7
Results of in-depth interview with nutrition education expert


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