Overcoming Obesogenic Environments: A Qualitative Study Exploring Mechanisms of Healthy Eaters

Sofía Sutherland, Emilio Gonzalez*, Cinthya Urquidi Bellota, Eliana Reyes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To identify mechanisms that enable overcoming obesogenic environments amongst healthy eaters through a Salutogenesis approach.
Methods: Sixteen middle-class Chilean adults (14 females and 2 males) following healthy diets according to the Healthy Eating Index were purposively selected from a primary health care center in urban Santiago. Semi-structured interviews and a grounded theory approach were used to explore ways in which healthy eaters manage their food practices. Interview transcripts were coded through open, axial and selective coding with a constant comparative method.
Results: The link between food and health is the main mechanism that promotes healthy diets. Healthy eaters assign importance to the physical and emotional roles of food, and use knowledge, motivation and resource-management skills to manage healthy food practices. A three stage food-related learning processes is proposed.
Conclusion: Understanding healthy eating as fundamental to reach a state of well-being and having skills to perform adequate food practices is key for facing obesogenic environments. The health-food link and the Food Learning Triad may serve for nutrition education interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalActa Scientific Nutritional Health
Issue number5.3
StatePublished - 26 Feb 2021

Cite this