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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Amy Hess-Fischl, MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDE (University of Chicago Medical Center)
Description: Written by and for healthcare professionals in the U.K., this book provides an in-depth look into the variety of ethnicities living in the U.K. and how their eating habits are embedded in their cultures.
Purpose: The purpose is to give dietitians and nutrition students in the U.K. the necessary tools to work with people of the different ethnicities represented in that country. The goal is to detail the history of the various cultures and how their diets have changed due to migration, as well as to understand the link between their cultures and their eating habits.
Audience: Although written for nutrition professionals in the U.K., the editors also hope the book will be a resource for other professionals who are looking for a deeper understanding of the needs of various ethnicities. Both editors are from the U.K., and one is a retired consultant dietitian for the National Health Service. Their team of authors includes members of the British Dietetic Association's Specialist Multicultural Nutrition Group and dietitians working for the NHS, all chosen because they have a high level of expertise with a particular culture.
Features: Each of the first seven chapters covers a particular ethnic region (South Asian subcontinent, West Indies, East Asia, Israel, Eastern Mediterranean, West Africa, East and Southeast Europe), with subsections for each ethnicity in the region. Chapters discuss the history of the culture, key food components of each ethnicity, and how the meals have changed due to migration. For example, the South Asian subcontinent has five unique ethnicities: Gujarati, Punjabi, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Sri Lankan. Chapters include a table of common foods. For example, the Gujarati diet includes a large number of herbs, which are listed in a table that describes what they are and what dishes most often use them. Each subsection also includes key points, such as healthy eating choices for the ethnic group, a glossary of foods, and a table of healthier alternatives to traditional foods. Two final chapters cover maternal and child nutrition and nutrition management in disease.
Assessment: This is a fascinating book and a great resource for U.K. nutrition professionals. Its usefulness may be limited in the U.S., but it is helpful as an additional resource on food and culture.