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Title:Influences on eating behavior: A participatory study using photoelicitation with Chilean women of low socioeconomic status and different nutritional status
Author(s):Galvez Espinoza, Patricia Andrea
Director of Research:Schwingel, Andiara
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Schwingel, Andiara
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Andrade, Flavia; Chapman- Novakofski, Karen; Graber, Kim
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Discipline:Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Influences of eating behaviors
Women's health
Abstract:Introduction. Around the world, many people’s diets have changed significantly throughout the past few decades. This change has contributed to increases in the rates of people who are overweight or obese. It seems that women are more affected than men by obesity, particularly women from a low socioeconomic (SES) background. This is the situation in Chile, where obesity prevalence reaches almost 47% of low SES women. This could indicate that their diet is making them more susceptible to the development of obesity. There is a lack of information about women’s eating behaviors in Latin America, particularly in Chile. Given that women play such important roles in Chilean society as mothers, wives, caregivers, and managers of the food budget, it is imperative to study what and why they eat the way they do. Aims: (1) explore the influences on eating behaviors among low-SES women living in Santiago-Chile; and (2) compare the influences on eating behaviors of low-SES women who are normal weight, overweight, and obese. Methods: An exploratory study, using a grounded theory approach, was applied. Thirty-one women of low SES, aged between 25-50 years old, participated in this study. All of them were married, had children younger than 12 years old, and were living in poor urban Santiago-Chile neighborhoods. Semi-structured interviews with photo-elicitation were conducted with these women. For this, participants received disposable cameras, and they were asked to photograph everything that was important to them as related regarding their food world. Pictures were developed and used to elicit information during interviews. The interviews were transcribed verbally. A thematic analysis was conducted in Spanish by five Chilean nutritionist researchers to answer the first aim - “the influences on eating behaviors”. To answer the second aim – “comparing the influences on eating behaviors among normal weight, overweight, and obese women” – we used a mixed method approach where participants were divided by these three nutritional statuses, according to their BMI. Using the thematic analysis, we reviewed how themes found among all participants as a whole were represented in each of the three groups, from both quantitative and qualitative approaches. For this, we analyzed the percentage of participants that mentioned a theme and the mean of the number of times that a theme was mentioned during the interviews (quantitative approach). We used Fisher’s and Kruskal Wallis tests to conduct the analysis, with a significance level of 0.05. In addition, we conducted a qualitative description of each theme found across all participants, and by group (qualitative approach). Finally, we conducted a similar descriptive analysis, looking for new themes that could be found in each group separately. Results: Seven themes were identified as influences on eating behaviors of Chilean women. “Family” was the most important influence. “Temporality” (day of the week, or season), “preferences”, “financial issues”, “special occasions”, “some perceptions about food”, and “availability of food”, were additional themes. From a quantitative point of view, there was no difference between the themes in relation to the percentage of participants that mentioned that theme or the number of times that the theme was mentioned. However, from a qualitative standpoint, “family”, “temporality”, “financial issues”, and “some perceptions about food”, were themes that disproportionately affected obese and overweight women when compared to normal weight. Seven additional themes were found in the analysis by nutritional status (groups). “Psychological and emotional status”, “health conditions”, “physical appearance”, “past experiences of failure”, and “gender role” were themes found only in obese participants. “Perceptions of difficulties” and “obstacles for eating healthier” were themes found in both obese and overweight participants. “Perceptions about the lack of time” was found just in normal weight participants. Conclusion: This study identified a wide variety of factors (themes) influencing low-SES Chilean women’s eating behaviors. These themes seemed to vary in influence as related to nutritional status, most strongly affecting overweight and obese participants. These factors could potentially be targeted in future obesity-related interventions in Chile. Our study supports the need to include the whole family in interventions that aim to improve women’s eating behavior as an attempt to prevent or control obesity. In addition, considerations and strategies that take into account the time of the year and the weekend should be included. Finally, individual aspects should continue to be incorporated in obesity-related interventions target to low SES women in Chile, as perceptions, preferences, and emotional well-being, among other factors, continue to play a significant role in their food world, especially among overweight and obese women.
Issue Date:2017-04-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Patricia Galvez Espinoza
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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