Thesis subject

Morals, values, and beliefs of nutrition professionals

What morals, values, and beliefs inform strategies to improve healthy eating for low socio-economic status (SES) groups?

Socioeconomic disparities in nutrition have been extensively documented in the literature and are a pressing issue of public health concern. In developed countries, people from high socioeconomic status (SES) groups are more likely to consume a healthy and balanced diet; in contrast, people from low SES populations are less likely to consume a diet consistent with nutritional recommendations. Given the substantial role of diet and nutritional status on health outcomes, it is important that strategies to support healthy eating in low SES populations are effective.

Nutrition professionals (e.g., dietitians) have significant roles in healthy eating strategies due to their central position in health care and credibility as health promoters. However, there may be differences between professionals and people from low SES populations concerning perceptions of healthy lifestyles and effective healthy eating strategies. As a result, strategies may not be optimal or may even have unintended consequences due to incongruities in beliefs, values, and priorities between professionals and targeted groups.

Currently, there is a lack of research concerning the views of health professionals engaged in nutrition strategies. An understanding of the morals, values, and beliefs of this group is an important step in effectively designing, implementing and evaluating nutrition strategies that aim to reduce nutrition disparities.

Type of research activities

Qualitative data collection (in-depth interviews), transcription, and qualitative data analysis (content analysis or discourse analysis)

Type of student

  • Highly motivated, organized, and committed
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Skills in qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Experience using or willingness to learn qualitative data analysis software (e.g., ATLAS.ti)
  • Background in social sciences is an asset