Embodiment of Eating Behaviours, Body Weight and Weight Management Practices Among Chilean Women From Different Socioeconomic Position

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Obesity prevalence in Chile has reached its highest peak, with 34.4% of people aged over 15 years being obese. However, this prevalence is unevenly distributed among the population; 46.6% of the lower educational groups, compared to 29.4% of the higher, and 38.6% of the women, compared to 30.8% of men, are obese. Obesity prevention and interventions have mostly focused on individual willingness to modify lifestyles, leaving aside social-structural answers to overcome this pandemic. According to Pierre Bourdieu’s framework on habitus and class distinction (Bourdieu, 1984), lifestyle behaviours are embedded in the culture and habits of social classes, and therefore, are socially constructed. Hence, tastes related to food can be considered markers of social position, similar to clothing or music tastes. The bodily habitus then expresses the systems of dispositions that cause actions, practices and preferences related to the body’s management. These practices are expressed in body-related taken-for-granted routines (eating, exercising, clothing, etc.). Gender differences in body’s management are also relevant to understand the social class differences. Women body’s relationship intersects with experiences over motherhood (Warin et al., 2008), living conditions (Dumas et al., 2014), and body ideals (Robinovich et al., 2018) that are fundamentally different to men. Considering Bourdieu’s framework, this study explores the differences in eating behaviours and body and weight management perspectives between women of different socioeconomic positions from Santiago, Chile. It focuses on understanding the bodily habitus related to eating practices through their biographies and daily lives and explore the differences between social classes dispositions. Approximately 30 in-depth interviews will be conducted with women from different socioeconomic position residing in Santiago, Chile. This qualitative research is an ongoing study part of a mixed-methods thesis. In progress analysis and preliminary findings from the interviews will be presented at the conference.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSixth BSA Sociology of Food Study Group Conference 2019 Food Systems and Society
Place of PublicationPrato
PublisherBSA Publications Ltd.
Number of pages46
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-904569-58-2
ISBN (Print)978-0-904569-58-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Structured keywords

  • SPS Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences

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