Food insecurity is widespread among asylum seekers resettled in Western countries. Limited information exists on the quality of food intake in this population. The aim of this study was to investigate dietary quality among asylum seekers living in Norwegian reception centers. This study has a cross-sectional research design. Dietary intake was assessed through a qualitative 24-hour dietary recall, and the dietary diversity score (DDS) was calculated. This study was conducted in eight Norwegian reception centers. A total of 205 adult asylum seekers (131 men and 74 women) participated in the study. The asylum seekers ate on average two meals per day, and one-third ate their first meal after noon. Mean (SD) DDS was 4.0 (1.6) and 2/3 had low dietary diversity, eating from fewer than five food groups. Women had a significantly higher mean DDS (4.5) than men (3.8) (β (95% CI): 0.47 (0.00, 0.95) and a higher consumption of vegetables and fruits. The longer the period of residence in Norway, the higher the DDS, β (95% CI): 0.01 (0.00, 0.02). The asylum seekers’ inadequate dietary intake reveals new forms of poverty and social exclusion in Europe. An inadequate dietary intake may increase the magnitude of difficulty involved in the settlement process and contribute to poorer health.
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