Public Health Nutrition

Monitoring and surveillance

Effects of migration on food consumption patterns in a sample of Indian factory workers and their families

Dheeraj Bansala1, Ambika Satijaa1a2, Neha Khandpura1 c1, Liza Bowena3, Sanjay Kinraa3, Dorairaj Prabhakarana4, K Srinath Reddya1 and Shah Ebrahima2a3

a1 The Public Health Foundation of India, Institute for Studies in Industrial Development, 4-Institutional Area, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi – 110070, India

a2 South Asia Network for Chronic Disease, Safdarjung Development Area, New Delhi, India

a3 Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

a4 Centre for Chronic Disease Control, Safdarjung Development Area, New Delhi, India


Objectives To study the impact of migration on food consumption among Indian factory workers and their siblings and spouses.

Design A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess diet using an interviewer-administered semi-quantitative FFQ from which intake of 184 commonly consumed food items was obtained.

Settings Participants recruited from factory sites in Bangalore, Lucknow, Nagpur and Hyderabad.

Subjects The sample comprised 7049 participants (41·6 % female), and included urban, migrant and rural groups.

Results Thirteen food items were eaten by the greatest proportion of individuals on a daily basis. These were all indigenous foods. The proportion of people consuming tandoori roti, dal with vegetables, potato and ghee on a daily basis was highest in the urban sample, intermediate in the migrant group and lowest in the rural group (P ≤ 0·01). The proportion of individuals consuming Western food on a weekly basis followed a similar trend.

Conclusions The diet of this sample is predominantly indigenous in nature, irrespective of migration status, with the prevalence of daily Western food consumption being minimal.

(Received August 26 2009)

(Accepted March 31 2010)

(Online publication May 27 2010)


c1 Corresponding author: Email