Eating behavior in Chilean

Patricia Galvez

In Chile, economic development has brought significant changes in the lifestyle of the population. The process of globalization has contributed to changes in the original Chilean diet by facilitating access to unhealthy food products. Despite various efforts, the Chilean population continues with an unhealthy diet. This is worrisome because the role unhealthy diets play in the development of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is well-recognized. Currently, high rates of being overweight or obese are observed in the total population (67%), with women having the highest prevalence of being obese (30.7% versus men at 19.2%). These facts could reflect poor eating habits, and also point to vulnerability in women to NCDs. In addition, evidence shows that eating patterns can change depending on the season of the year, having during cooler weather less healthy diet. It would be necessary to study and understand the determinants of eating behaviors in Chilean women, and answer the question: Why do Chilean women eat in the way that they do, from a qualitative point of view, considering the important influence that they can have as housewives on the behavior of other family members. Past research conducted in Chilean women identified interesting topics concerning determinants of eating behaviors (data not published yet). But this research was performed with a small sample and most of the women belonged to a low socioeconomic level. For this reason, it is necessary to continue with this line of research and broaden the scope in order to achieve generalization of the data. The specific goals of this proposal are: (1) To explore the influences of eating behaviors in women living in Santiago-Chile; (2) To compare the influences of eating behaviors at two season period, specifically the Chilean spring-summer (November to March) and the Chilean winter (June to August).

To reach the goals of this study, 30 Chilean women between the ages of 25 and 60 will be recruited. Women will be recruited at public health care centers, schools, and private companies in Santiago-Chile. The sample will include women with different demographics characteristics. Semi-structured individual interviews using a protocol of questions and Photo-elicitation will be conducted with participants. Each woman will receive a disposable camera, and they will be asked to take approximately 25 pictures of their food and nutrition world. During the interviews, the pictures will be used to allow women to express their ideas more broadly in order to obtain more information about determinants of their eating behavior than otherwise might not be accessible. Information about women's socio-economic level will be also collected. Eating habits will be collected using a 24-hour recall questionnaire for 3 days and a food frequency questionnaire. In order to understand different patterns of food behavior and seasonal effect, data from each participant will be collected twice during a year (November to March, 2014, and June to August, 2015). Once the interviews are transcribed, a thematic analysis will be performed by nutritionists and psychologists.