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Perceptions of healthy eating in four Alberta communities: a photovoice project. Open Access


Author or creator
Hammer, Brent
Vallianatos, Helen
Nykiforuk, Candace I.J.
Nieuwendyk, Laura.
Additional contributors
Community health
Local food
Healthy eating
Built environment
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Peoples’ perceptions of healthy eating are influenced by the cultural context in which they occur. Despite this general acceptance by health practitioners and social scientists, studies suggest that there remains a relative homogeneity around peoples’ perceptions that informs a hegemonic discourse around healthy eating. People often describe healthy eating in terms of learned information from sources that reflect societies’ norms and values, such as the Canada Food Guide and the ubiquitous phrase “fruits and vegetables”. Past research has examined how built environments shape people’s access to healthy living options, such as distribution of grocers versus convenience stores and fast food restaurants. Often overlooked is an in-depth understanding of how social contexts interact with built environments, molding peoples’ perceptions of healthy eating. This paper reports on perceptions of healthy eating in four communities across Alberta, Canada. A photovoice methodology was employed to elicit perceptions of healthy eating with 35 participants. This study illustrates how participants’ photographs and their stories convey multiple meanings about healthy eating within their own lives and communities. Findings suggest that a ‘local’ context is an important part of the discourse centered around the promotion of healthy eating practices in these and potential other communities.
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License information
© 2015 Hammer, B., Vallianatos, H., Nykiforuk, C.I.J., & Nieuwendyk, L. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.

Citation for previous publication
Hammer, B., Vallianatos, H., Nykiforuk, C.I.J., & Nieuwendyk, L. (2015). Perceptions of healthy eating in four Alberta communities: a photovoice project. Agriculture and Human Values, 32(4), 649–662.


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