Socio-demographic and dietary factors associated with excess body weight and abdominal obesity among resettled Bhutanese refugee women in Northeast Ohio, United States

Bhatta MP, Assad L, Shakya S. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Jun 25;11(7):6639-52. 

Studies of obesity and related health conditions among the Bhutanese, one of the largest refugee groups resettled in the United States in the past five years, are limited. This study examined the factors associated with excess body weight (body mass index ≥ 23 kg/m2) and abdominal obesity (waist circumference > 80 cm) in a community-based sample of 18-65 year old Bhutanese refugee women in Northeast Ohio. A Nepali-language questionnaire was used to measure socio-demographic and dietary factors.

Environmental, Nutrition and Health Issues in a US Refugee Resettlement Community

Lauren Sastre MS and Lauren Haldeman PhD. MEDICC Review, October 2015, Vol 17, No 4

In 2012, North Carolina ranked in the top ten states in refugee resettlement, with central Guilford County one of the most diverse in the southeast. This study examined the local resettlement environmental, nutrition and health barriers and needs of refugees in Guilford County, as perceived by individuals providing services to them. Perceptions were consistent across participants regarding a diverse local refugee population.

Chronic Health Conditions, Physical Activity and Dietary Behaviors of Bhutanese Refugees: A Houston-Based Needs Assessment

Misra SM, Nepal VP, Banerjee D, Giardino AP. Journal of Immigrant Health. 2016 Dec;18(6):1423-1431.

Bhutanese refugees resettling in the U.S. face many challenges including several related to health and health care. Limited health literacy and the relatively complicated US health care system may contribute to health disparities as well. A health assessment was conducted on adult refugees in Houston, Texas to provide healthcare providers, community organizations, and stakeholders baseline data to plan programs and interventions.

Bhutanese Refugees' Social and Cultural Background

1.    Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal, Refugee Backgrounder by the Cultural Orientation Resource Center, available at   (at the middle of the page) Right-click to download the PDF:

Basic traditional refugee backgrounder prepared by the Cultural Orientation Resource Center. Gives providers a basic idea about the Bhutanese refugees, as good a place as any to begin your education about this population.

On the same page, the Cultural

Bhutanese Refugees Mental and Physical Health Resources

1.    Assessing the Mental Health of Karen and Bhutanese Refugee Families in the Child Welfare System by Patricia Shannon, Ph.D. et al (In collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Health and The Center for Victims of Torture). Available at the Minnesota Center for Social Work Research's web site. Direct link to poster:

Results of a focus group among Bhutanese and Karen refugees which gives providers insight into what these refugees require from providers in terms of encouragement, cultural sensitivity and

Bhutanese General Information

What is going on in Bhutan now?

Bhutanese refugees will generally want to talk about the current situation in Bhutan as much as about their experiences so far. Knowledge about what pressing issues are being faced by those back home would make for a good conversation starter when dealing with traumatized people. The following report and the website are good sources of information for events inside Bhutan as well as in the Diaspora.

1. Last Hope: The Need for Durable Solutions for Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal and India, by Human Rights Watch. Available at

Bhutanese Refugees

These resources were assembled by Aaron Acharya and CVT in 2011.

This map shows the location of Bhutan relative to the rest of Asia. Click the map to see a large, detailed map of Bhutan.

The Affordable Care Act & Refugees: informational video in Nepali - in English

Stories of Hope from Bhutanese Refugees: Moving from Distress to Wellness - excellent short video series in Nepali with English subtitles

Specific Populations

The following is in-depth information specific to working with a particular population. If you'd like to request that we add content for a particular population, please use our Suggest Content form!

Click here to view all webinars that we have done for specific populations.

Affordable Care Act for refugees

The Office of Refugee Resettlement has put together a useful page on The Affordable Care Act & Refugees, including informational videos in:

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