Urban environment and dietary behaviours as perceived by residents living in socioeconomically diverse neighbourhoods: A qualitative study in a Mediterranean context

Jesús Rivera-Navarro, Paloma Conde, Julia Díez, Marta Gutiérrez-Sastre, Ignacio González-Salgado, María Sandín, Joel Gittelsohn, Manuel Franco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Scholars have determined that low socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with unhealthy dietary behaviours and that local food environments shape food inequality. Less is known about how residents' perceptions of their food environment affect their dietary behaviours. We conducted 37 semistructured interviews and 29 focus groups in three socioeconomically distinct neighbourhoods in Madrid. We identified the following main categories related to social and physical food environments: (a) perceptions of healthy and unhealthy dietary behaviours, (b) children's relationships with food, (c) precariousness and (d) residential food retailer types. Older adults were perceived as healthier consumers, whereas younger people were identified as fast-food consumers. In the low- and middle-SES neighbourhoods, residents saw home-cooked legume-based stews as healthy food. In the high-SES neighbourhood, television cooking programs were highlighted as a positive influence. In the low- and middle-SES neighbourhoods, grandparents played an essential role in the transmission of healthy eating habits to their grandchildren. In the high-SES neighbourhood, children's diets at home were determined by school menus. In the low- and middle-SES neighbourhoods, participants talked about a black market where food could be purchased. Food retailers with low-quality foods were also highlighted. In all neighbourhoods, residents missed traditional food stores, and in the low- and middle-SES neighbourhoods, immigrant-run food stores were not well accepted. Our study presents the concepts shaping how neighbourhood SES differences affect dietary behaviours according to residents of a large Mediterranean city.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104983
JournalAppetite
Volume157
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

Keywords

  • Diet
  • Food environment
  • Neighbourhood
  • Qualitative research
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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