Food and Social Change: Signs of Change in Spanish Eating Habits

Cecilia Díaz Méndez


Eating habits are changing in modern societies. However, existing data is insufficient to provide in-depth information regarding the social dimensions of these changes. This article describes the principal traits of the eating habits of Spanish people, based on the nationwide ENHALI-2012 survey. The data show a society which is very cohesive with regard to eating habits, but in which there are also signs of change. A panoramic view is presented of how eating is organized in Spain based on meal timetables, of who meals are shared with and of where they are eaten. An explanation is also given of the factors which are taken into account when cooking, of the criteria used when shopping and of the level of trust which consumers have in institutions whose job it is to ensure that people eat correctly. Finally, an analysis is made of what makes Spanish people follow specific diets. The conclusion raises the question of whether existing conditions are conducive to following a healthy diet or if, alternatively, the current scenario favours inappropriate eating habits.


eating habits; food consumption

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