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Mothers' food choices and consumption of ultra-processed foods in the Brazilian Amazon: A grounded theory study

de Morais Sato, P; Couto, MT; Wells, J; Cardoso, MA; Devakumar, D; Scagliusi, FB; (2020) Mothers' food choices and consumption of ultra-processed foods in the Brazilian Amazon: A grounded theory study. Appetite , Article 104602. 10.1016/j.appet.2020.104602. (In press).

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Abstract

In recent decades, an increase in consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF), a type of product frequently associated with diet-related obesity, chronic diseases, decrease of eating traditions and loss of culinary diversity, has been observed in middle-income countries. However, there is lack of information on factors related to choosing UPF. In this study, we aimed to understand the factors promoting UPF choices and consumption among mothers living in an urban context in the Brazilian Amazon, and to present a conceptual model grounded on their experiences that illustrates the dynamics between the observed factors. For this qualitative study, we used a constructive grounded theory approach, with a theoretical sampling of 40 women, to choose mothers with high and low consumption of ultra-processed foods. Data production and the first steps of analysis were performed concomitantly, followed by four steps of coding focused on creating conceptual categories and explaining the interactions between them. Our findings highlighted the importance of context in promoting UPF choice and consumption, particularly the “food environment”, physical and virtual, and the “sociocultural environment”. These contextual aspects interacted with the two main personal aspects influencing participants' UPF consumption, one concerning practices, “cooking behaviors”, and the other concerning preferences, “food tastes”. Factors such as economic and time constraints were also important and competed to shape eating practices through interactions with participants’ health valorization. Findings are discussed in relation to food choice theories, social roles and the food environment. Implications for public health initiatives include the importance of considering environmental changes, sociocultural and economic influences, the reliance on UPF, and the role of women in the home, when promoting healthy diets.

Type: Article
Title: Mothers' food choices and consumption of ultra-processed foods in the Brazilian Amazon: A grounded theory study
Location: England
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2020.104602
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2020.104602
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Eating practices, Food choices, Ultra-processed foods, Mothers, Grounded theory, Qualitative research, Brazil
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10090539
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