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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


BAIAO, Mirian Ribeiro  and  DESLANDES, Suely Ferreira. Eating practices during pregnancy: a study of low-income pregnant and postpartum women in Rio de Janeiro (RJ, Brazil). Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2010, vol.15, suppl.2, pp.3199-3206. ISSN 1678-4561.

This study aimed to analyze the self-reported eating practices of pregnant and postpartum women living in a group of slum communities in the city of Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. The interpretative methodology used a semi-structured interview and thematic content analysis. The sample (n=26) consisted of 18 pregnant and 8 postpartum women, of whom 7 were adolescents and 19 adults, including both primiparous and multiparous subjects. According to these women, eating while watching television, eating out, and eating with relatives and friends on weekends were forms of associating leisure-time activities with food, thus increasing their pleasure in eating. Income was identified as the principal obstacle to consuming healthier foods, which were reserved for their children as a priority. Thus, milk, vegetables, greens, and fruit were rarely consumed. Their diet consisted mainly of rice, beans and chicken. There was a clear preference for "junk food". The women were limited to a monotonous diet. It is important to understand and value socio-cultural and economic issues that influence eating practices in order for food and nutritional orientation aimed at healthy eating to be negotiated and adjusted to pregnant women's objective and subjective needs.

Keywords : Pregnancy; Eating; Culture; Qualitative research.

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