Exploring dietary patterns in a Mexican adolescent population: A mixed methods approach

Erica C. Jansen*, Hannah Marcovitch, Julia A. Wolfson, Mary Leighton, Karen E. Peterson, Martha Maria Téllez-Rojo, Alejandra Cantoral, Elizabeth F.S. Roberts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


To explore dietary patterns within the context of the nutrition transition among Mexican adolescents, we employed a mixed-methodology that included survey data from a cohort of 550 adolescents and direct ethnographic observations of six families. From the cohort study, we found that diet tended to cluster into 3 patterns. Interpreting the patterns using the ethnographic observations showed that the dietary clustering likely reflected differences in meal organization driven by socioeconomic status (SES). In particular, families of higher SES could afford to prepare larger home-cooked meals on a regular basis while lower SES households had less-stable patterns and greater reliance on processed food. These findings provide a more nuanced interpretation of dietary patterns observed in the Mexico population than is afforded by the food items alone (i.e. a “healthy” or “prudent” pattern versus “unhealthy” or “Westernized”).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104542
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Ethnography
  • Food habits
  • Nutrition transition
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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