Understanding how obesity is resisted or perpetuated in different contexts
Traditional biomedical approaches in nutrition research tend to focus on studying or modifying risk factors which lead to overweight and poor health such as poor dietary behaviors. Though relevant for curative medicine, such an approach limits the evidence base for health promotion practice. There are still many unanswered questions about how people accomplish healthy eating and how we can best enable healthy food choices in people’s everyday social and physical contexts. This research project takes a positiveoriented approach and rather than focusing on the risk factors for unhealthy eating, it will gain insight into the assets and resources which enable people to eat healthfully. By applying the salutogenic framework, this project studies obesity-resilient people who stay slim and sustain their intentions to eat healthy in obesogenic environments. Mixed research methods are applied to gain insight into the individual- and collective level resources which enable healthy eating and to compare the complexity and multidimensional nature of these resources and the consequences for nutrition promotion. These insights will be relevant for developing new strategies for nutrition promotion research and practice which enable healthy eating behaviors and obesity resistance.
Emily Swan, PhD