Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld

Teilprojekt 1.1: Under- and Overnutrition in Refugees (Annika Laukamp)

In recent years flight migration is becoming more prevalent in the interest of politics, society and science. Fleeing migrants or refugees are people who were forced to leave their home country, for example because of persecution 1. Previous studies regarding the health status of refugees in Germany primarily focus on infectious diseases at time of arrival or on mental health 2. However, international studies have already shown that in addition to infectious diseases also underweight, overweight and micronutrient deficiencies are not uncommon among refugees 3,4,5,6,7.

For Germany, there are no studies on under- and overnutrition and associated non-communicable diseases in refugees so far. Therefore, a problem determination regarding under- and overnutrition and associated non-communicable diseases is made within this dissertation. Based on this problem determination, strategies for target group specific interventions or preventive measures can be derived.

The extent of under- and overnutrition among refugees in Germany is still not known. Therefore, an initial inventory of under- and overnutrition in refugees will be carried out in the first step of this dissertation. Based on the inventory existing risk groups for under- and overnutrition among the refugees will be identified. Finally, within an in-depth analysis it will be captured how the identified risk structures are perceived by the refugees themselves and whether other aspects were of relevance to them. Quantitative approach.
Quantitative approach
A standardized quantitative survey with refugees in the city of Bielefeld is carried out to identify the extent of under- and overnutrition among the refugees. This inventory allows detailed conclusions regarding the nutritional status of the refugees on the one hand and on the other hand it enables the identification of risk groups regarding the nutritional status among the refugees.
Qualitative approach
Focus group interviews with refugees out of the identified risk groups should capture, how the refugees themselves perceive the identified risk structures and whether other aspects regarding their nutritional status were of relevance to them.

1. [Treibel A.: Migration in modernen Gesellschaften. Soziale Folgen von Einwanderung, Gastarbeit und Flucht. 4th ed. Weinheim u.a.: Juventa-Verlag, 2008.]
2. [Bozorgmehr K, Mohsenpour A, Saure D, et al.: Systematische Übersicht und "Mapping" empirischer Studien des Gesundheitszustands und der medizinischen Versorgung von Flüchtlingen und Asylsuchenden in Deutschland (1990-2014). Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz 2016; 59: 599?620.]
3. [Benson J, Phillips C, Kay M, et al.: Low vitamin B12 levels among newly-arrived refugees from Bhutan, Iran and Afghanistan: A multicentre Australian study. PLoS One 2013; 8: e57998.]
4. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.: Nutritional assessment of adolescent refugees--Nepal, 1999. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2000; 49: 864?867.]
5. [Kim KJ, Kim YJ, Kim SH, et al.: Vitamin D status and associated metabolic risk factors among North Korean refugees in South Korea: A cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 2015; 5: e009140.]
6. [Sanati Pour M, Kumble S, Hanieh S and Biggs B-A.: Prevalence of dyslipidaemia and micronutrient deficiencies among newly arrived Afghan refugees in rural Australia: A cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 2014; 14: 896.]
7. [Grijalva-Eternod CS, Wells JCK, Cortina-Borja M, et al.: The double burden of obesity and malnutrition in a protracted emergency setting: A cross-sectional study of Western Sahara refugees. PLoS Med 2012; 9: e1001320.]