"Sometimes they'll tell me what they want": family and inter-generational food preferences in the food decisions of Singaporean women

Ferzacca, S.; Naidoo, N.; Wang, M. C.; Reddy, G. and van Dam, R. M. (2013). "Sometimes they'll tell me what they want": family and inter-generational food preferences in the food decisions of Singaporean women. Appetite, 69 pp. 156–167.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2013.05.021

Abstract

This study examines responses to questions regarding food choices and decisions from 18 focus groups of women (n = 130) age 30–55 years living in Singapore. Focusing on the responses to the questions in the interview protocol closely associated with decision making identified several themes. Food choices and eating decisions are composite phenomenon. These composite food decisions reflect flexible, open systems we refer to here as idiosyncratic regimes in which environmental, social, and intra-personal streams of influence are prioritized as individuals generate possible food decisions. Food decisions represent the imagined and actual presence of the “family” and differing inter-generational food preferences. As women attempt to create harmony from the diversity of food preferences they generate idiosyncratic regimes of food and eating reflecting “triadic streams of influence” manifest in the context of everyday contingencies of family and individual life. Recent concern in Singapore on the part of the Health Promotion Board and the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore regarding the increasing prevalence of diet-related diseases and obesity among Singaporeans provided the impetus for conducting this qualitative study of food and eating among Singaporean women.

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