A Socio-Cultural Diagnosis of Adolescent Diets in Comitán, Chiapas
Keywords:Qualitative study, nutrition, adolescent, body image
AbstractThis study, based on group interviews with adolescents (pre-university level students) from various educational institutions and socio-cultural backgrounds in Comitán, Chiapas (Mexico), was undertaken to identify the settings for the dietary practices of young people. Using a multi-dimensional analysis, we found that the predominant paradigm in public health, based on concepts such as risk factors and lifestyle, tends to obscure the complexity of social processes and to place responsibility for health on each individual. The dietary practices of adolescents are determined by the dynamics established in school and family environments and occur in a context of time pressures as well as the poor provision and choice of foods. We noted a discrepancy between knowledge on the one hand and dietary practices, weight control and perceived risks or expectations concerning body image on the other.