nutritional consultation is one of the main professional activities of a nutritionist. the research was developed based on this activity, also considering the motivations presented by a group of women who were not referred to a consultation by a treating physician. the primary objective of the study is to interpret the social factors that condition the attendance of cesfam lagunillas users in coronel, (bio-bio region), to a nutritional consultation during the first semester of 2009. in order to achieve the primary objective, a qualitative phenomenological-type study was used as an investigative design. information was collected through structured interviews with 17 women who met the selection criteria, that is to say, the total sample size determined through theoretical saturation. the greatest motivation presented by women who were interviewed about the attendance to a nutritionist consultation was their body image. some social influences were also identified in this decision specially related to their families. regarding this influences, they mentioned their partners and sometimes their mothers. friends, means of communication, and the public opinion were also identified as an influence in their decision of attending to a nutritionist consultation. in conclusion, family is the greatest formal institution that conditions and directly influences the decision made by its members in attending a nutritional consultation.