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Cultural aspects of meals and meal frequency

  • Matty Chiva (a1)
Abstracts
Abstracts

The present paper presents a certain number of cultural elements which interact in the determination of the frequency of food intake. Approaches from various perspectives (historical, ethnological, anthropological, sociological) draw attention to two major aspects relating to the periodicity of food intake: the extreme cultural diversity and the continual modifications which have occurred over time and space. The various cultural models change and are subject to multiple influences, for example, cross-cultural, economic and historical. In addition, there are interactions between the models. The definitions of food intake and frequency play a major role in building up consumers' perceptions. These various perceptions are multiple (perception of self, of food and its virtues, the rules and moral values of consumption) and finally influence behaviours. Finally, and taking into account the systems of beliefs, the very nature of feeding behaviours may carry feelings of guilt for the subject. The study of real behaviours and their relationship with health is still incomplete for reasons of methodology and also of conceptual definition. In future, data collection has to take into account real behaviour as well as subjective perceptions and value judgements. A specific effort has to be made in the future to develop methodology. This should allow the collection of reliable data and particularly comparisons between studies, without oversimplifying and distorting cultural specificities.

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References
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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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