Barriers to eating traditional foods vary by age group in Ecuador with biodiversity loss as a key issue

D. Penafiel, C. Termote, C. Lachat, R. Espinel, Patrick Kolsteren, P. Van Damme

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    OBJECTIVE: To document the perceptions of indigenous peoples for the sustainable management of natural resources against malnutrition. DESIGN: Initially 4 and then 12 interviews were conducted with 4 different age groups. SETTING: Eight rural villages in Guasaganda, central Ecuador, were studied in 2011-2012. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 75 people (22 children, 18 adolescents, 20 adults, and 15 elders). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Benefits, severity, susceptibility, barriers, cues to action, and self-efficacy of eating traditional foods. ANALYSIS: Qualitative content analysis was completed using NVivo software. Initial analysis was inductive, followed by a content analysis directed by the Health Belief Model. Coding was completed independently by 2 researchers and kappa statistics (kappa >/= 0.65) were used to evaluate agreement. RESULTS: Healthy perceptions toward traditional foods existed and differed by age. Local young people ate traditional foods for their health benefits and good taste; adults cultivated traditional foods that had an economic benefit. Traditional knowledge used for consumption and cultivation of traditional foods was present but needs to be disseminated. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Nutrition education in schools is needed that supports traditional knowledge in younger groups and prevents dietary changes toward unhealthy eating. Increased production of traditional food is needed to address current economic realities.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)258-268.e1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Nutrition
    • Food consumption
    • Food habits
    • Nutrition behavior
    • Traditional
    • Barriers
    • Indigenous populations
    • Perceptions
    • Age distribution
    • Biodiversity
    • Ecuador
    • America-Latin


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