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Social representations of healthy eating: An empirical study in Colombia

Keywords: Healthy eating , social representations , structural approach

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Abstract:

The article explores the structure of the social representation of healthy eating in four groups in Colombian society(two rural and two urban, professionals and non-professionals). The structural analysis distinguished commonelements across all the groups studied, namely vegetarian foods, white meat, and the ideal conditions for eating, whichwere identified as the central core of the representation. The findings concur with other reports in the literature onhealthy eating. Health practices, however, revealed inconsistencies and show that health beliefs may function as paradoxicalsystems and they are defined according to the contexts of communication. Instead of a conventional view knowledgeattitudes-behavior, the theory of social representations offers a distinctive framework for the study of health practicesand assumes consistency and rationality in terms of the sociocultural implications of the action.

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