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WHAT'S ON THE TABLE: NUTRITION PROGRAMMING FOR REFUGEES IN THE UNITED STATES

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Abstract

This article examines how nutrition outreach efforts address changing food practices among refugee populations resettled in the United States. Qualitative, ethnographic data for the article is drawn from the author's work with the Food and Nutrition Outreach program for resettled refugees and includes the perspectives of practitioners and refugees. Drawing on anthropological theories on the interplay between social meanings and structures of the political economy, the article examines how social meanings and socioeconomic processes facilitate changes in food practices. Findings on the topics of assessing nutritional needs, defining healthy eating, as well as the social organization and meaning of food practices illustrate the importance of going beyond dietary guidelines to incorporate discussion-based nutrition education between service providers and refugees. The article concludes with both practical and structural suggestions for next steps in nutrition programming for refugees.

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