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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


GALVEZ-ESPINOZA, Patricia et al. “We eat in this way because…”. Understanding eating behaviors of Chilean women of low socioeconomic status. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2018, vol.146, n.8, pp.882-889. ISSN 0034-9887.


The prevalence of obesity is higher in women than in men, especially in those of lower socioeconomic status. It is established that this group tends to have a less healthy diet.


To explore the eating behaviors of low-income Chilean women.

Material and Methods:

Semi-structured interviews with photo-elicitation were conducted with 31 Chilean women aged 36 ± 6 years, who lived with a partner and had at least one sibling under 12 years of age. The interviews were transcribed and an inductive analysis of the participants’ discourses was made.


Seven themes were described in relation to their influence on three eating behaviors (food purchase, preparation and intake): Family, preferences, temporality, financial issues, special occasions, perceptions about food, and availability of food. The family exerted a strong influence on the behaviors and had an impact on the other themes encountered.


Eating behaviors were influenced by several factors, both at the personal and environment levels. These factors interacted with each other to produce different forms of behavior modulation. It is therefore problematic to promote healthy eating behaviors while not considering all the influences on this behavior.

Keywords : Feeding Behavior; Qualitative Research; Women.

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