Dietitians Association of Australia, 35th National Conference, "Think Big", 17-19 May 2018, Sydney, Australia

Rebecca METE, Jane KELLETT, Rachel BACON, Kristen MURRAY, Alison SHIELD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How individuals perceive and define healthy eating is an important influencer of food choice and behaviour. The question ’what is healthy eating?’ continues to be surrounded by confusion, considering the plethora of confounding nutrition messages available 24/7. These nutrition messages are often influenced by non-evidenced based information and fad diets. The aim of this research was to explore the interpretations and influencers of healthy food choice from the views and perspectives of adults with obesity (body mass index >30 kg/m2 ). A total of 23 semi-structured face-to-face or telephone interviews were conducted from December 2016- February 2017. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed using a latent approach. Four main themes emerged from the data: (1) Healthy food choices are important, but not a first priority; (2) Fad diets are part of the human experience; (3) Nutrition information is known, but not applied; and (4) Social media (Facebook, Instagram and Blogs) inspires and connects us to healthy eating information. Findings from this study indicate definitions and perceptions of ’what is a healthy food choice?’ are largely influenced by conflicting definitions associated with various fad diets that individuals are exposed to. Considering that nutrition information is now more readily accessible on social media, further investigation into how fad diets frame healthy food choice messages on this platform are needed. By doing so, a lesson could be learnt for future dietitians to more successfully compete with fad diets when disseminating evidenced based healthy eating information to adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-121
Number of pages115
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
EventDietitians Association of Australia, 35th National Conference -
Duration: 17 May 201819 May 2018


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