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Oregon State University (2019)

Changing Eating Habits in Connection with Environmental Problems in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia

Abuqurayn, Ayat H.

Titre : Changing Eating Habits in Connection with Environmental Problems in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia

Auteur : Abuqurayn, Ayat H.

Université de soutenance : Oregon State University

Grade : Master of Science (M.S.) 2019

The agricultural lands of Saudi Arabia cannot support feeding the population since they have been facing environmental problems including climate change and water scarcity (DeNicola et al. 2015). Food security is the issue, especially in desert countries which rely on natural water resources. Saudi Arabia is one of these desert countries which has been struggling to meet their domestic food demand. Currently Saudi Arabia has been focused on importing most food commodities to meet local food demands in order to mitigate stress on depleting water resources (FAO 2017). Little is understood about how an individual’s food choices can play a significant role in achieving environmental sustainability as well as food security. Therefore, there is a need for more place-based studies that consider the human dimensions of environmental problems. Regarding human dimensions provides a better understanding of the links between dietary choices and environmental consequences. Food choices of individuals can be expected to differ based on the social and cultural context of specific communities. Therefore, the approach of dietary choices and environmental consequences is adopted in this research study which focuses on women who are responsible for feeding their families in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. The main aim is to understand how women choose to feed their families and how changes in consumption, over the years, affect the environment. The study focuses specifically on the frequency of meat consumption and the factors that affect what women choose to feed their families and to explore their perceptions of the connections between food choice and environmental problems. Major themes emerged from this qualitative analysis. Research interviews reflect that women maintain their families’ cultural tradition in consuming meat and dairy products. Meanwhile, lifestyle changes over the years influence dietary habits in shifting towards western foods. The main drivers of food choices, among women, were health, cultural factors and accessibility of restaurants. There was awareness, among the women, about the impacts of dietary choices on their health. However, these women didn’t recognize the impacts of their dietary choices on their environment. This study suggests creating awareness among women to promote environmental sustainability by shifting their diets, which will also promote healthy life styles as well as reducing environmental impacts.


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Page publiée le 22 janvier 2020