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Durham e-Theses
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The Effect of Local Food Environments on Family Food Choices and Food Related Behaviours

ROUTH, EMILY,LOUISE (2017) The Effect of Local Food Environments on Family Food Choices and Food Related Behaviours. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis examines the extent to which local food environments influence family food choices and food related behaviours in order to assess 1) how do local food environments differ 2) how do people use their local food environment 3) how do aspects of socio- economic status 4) how do other aspects of family life and 5) what other factors influence family food choices and food related behaviours. This thesis compares four British towns; Barnard Castle and Consett in County Durham and Tunbridge Wells and Chatham in Kent to assess how local food environments and food choices differ between areas of similar geography and unitary governments as well as between areas of high and low socio- economic status. Using a novel methodological approach I have combined four previously established methods to provide a holistic and comprehensive overview of the complex system of food environments and their implications on food choices, which one method alone would be incapable of doing. 1) GIS methods were used to assess the physical food environment, 2) participatory mapping was used in provide an insight to how the environment is perceived and used, 3) seven day food recalls provided data on the actual food consumed and finally 4) adapting the traditional method of participant observation I was able to identify influential factors to food choices and food-related behaviours.
The findings indicate that local food environments differ both in their design (research question 1) and in how they are used between these four towns (research question 2). Differences between towns are most significant between areas of socio-economic status (research question 3), however differences were also present between aspects of family life (research question 4), personal preference, convenience and social networks (research question 5). As a result, the nutritional intake of households also differs such that areas of lower socio-economic status have significantly lower intake of fruit and vegetables but a higher intake of fast food, fizzy drinks and convenience foods. The greater capital a household has in terms of their socio-economic status the more selective they can be in actively seeking foods that also reflect other preferences such as moral beliefs and social networks and thus influences on their nutritional intake.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2017 10:21

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