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Open AccessArticle

Household Cooking and Eating out: Food Practices and Perceptions of Salt/Sodium Consumption in Costa Rica

1
Costa Rican Institute of Research and Teaching in Nutrition and Health (INCIENSA), Tres Ríos 4-2250, Costa Rica
2
Project Consultant, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Llorente de Tibas 11303, Costa Rica
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1208; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031208
Received: 20 October 2020 / Revised: 12 January 2021 / Accepted: 13 January 2021 / Published: 29 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Systems, Food Environment, Diet and Nutrition Related Diseases)
This research aims to study the food practices and perceptions related to excessive consumption of salt/sodium when cooking and eating outside the home in a study population representing the wide intergenerational and sociocultural diversity of Costa Rica. Key communities from around the country, cultural experts, and key informants were selected. Four qualitative research techniques were applied. Data was systematized based on the Social Ecological Model. Women are generally in charge of cooking and family food purchases. Salt is perceived as a basic ingredient, used in small amounts that can be reduced—but not eliminated—when cooking. Changes in food preparations and emotions associated with the consumption of homemade food with salt were identified. The population likes to eat out, where the establishments selected depend mainly on age group and income. Beyond cultural and geographical differences, age aspects are suggested as being the main differentiators, in terms of use of salt, seasonings, and condiments in the preparation of food at home, the recipes prepared, and the selection of establishments in which to eat out. The deeply rooted values and meanings associated with salt in food indicate that the implementation of salt reduction strategies in Costa Rica is challenging. View Full-Text
Keywords: salt; salt reduction; sodium; practices; perceptions; household; eating out of home salt; salt reduction; sodium; practices; perceptions; household; eating out of home
MDPI and ACS Style

Blanco-Metzler, A.; Núñez-Rivas, H.; Vega-Solano, J.; Montero-Campos, M.A.; Benavides-Aguilar, K.; Cubillo-Rodríguez, N. Household Cooking and Eating out: Food Practices and Perceptions of Salt/Sodium Consumption in Costa Rica. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 1208. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031208

AMA Style

Blanco-Metzler A, Núñez-Rivas H, Vega-Solano J, Montero-Campos MA, Benavides-Aguilar K, Cubillo-Rodríguez N. Household Cooking and Eating out: Food Practices and Perceptions of Salt/Sodium Consumption in Costa Rica. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(3):1208. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031208

Chicago/Turabian Style

Blanco-Metzler, Adriana; Núñez-Rivas, Hilda; Vega-Solano, Jaritza; Montero-Campos, María A.; Benavides-Aguilar, Karla; Cubillo-Rodríguez, Nazareth. 2021. "Household Cooking and Eating out: Food Practices and Perceptions of Salt/Sodium Consumption in Costa Rica" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 3: 1208. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031208

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