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What are the barriers to healthy eating?

“No boundary or barrier surrounds the heart of a person that loves themself and others.”
― Shannon L. Alder

Healthy eating barriers



Barriers to Healthy Eating

Let’s start to say that different factors influence our diet, and consequently, our behaviour. However, we define as a “barrier to healthy eating” any obstacles that stop us to intake the right amount of nutrients. That consists of:

  • Family. Parents influence children’s a lot as they decide the:” What, Where, With, and When” of their children will eat. Also, some parents cook fresh food, but many of them use only processed food. Consequently, that means an unhealthy diet and lack of nutrients. It means as well to address children to unhealthy eating habits.
  • Healthy Issues and conditions force us to avoid certain food and nutrients. A great example of them could be diseases such as IBS, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure. Accordingly, with their GP, these people should avoid several foods to stay healthier. Consequently, they are at risk of deficiency diseases related. Also, older adults who do not have too many teeth cannot eat many foods as they cannot chew.
  • Cost. In contrast to what many people think, eating healthy is not too expensive.  Planning! That it is all about. We should focus on what we eat instead of quantity. Also, buying seasonal foods is cheaper and helps the environment. Healthy Eating Barriers
  • Convenience.  To begin, we can say that today Superstores, online shops offers a lot of deals. In other words, they force us to buy a lot of things that we do not need, or we do not eat or will lead to obesity or other diseases.
  • Misleading behind advertising. We often see advertising such as “Reduced Fat”,” I lost 12 kg in 4 weeks” and many others. Are they Healthy?. A great example, with a bottle of “reduced fat” mayonnaise. That means the company reduced the amount of fat from their original recipe, but the amount of fat is still too high. Contrary, “low fat” means that the food contains less than 3g of fat per serving. Some breakfast cereals are plenty of sugars, and there is no healthy way to lose more than 1kg a week.
  • Accessibility to food is a big problem for older people or people who do not have access to public transport. Therefore, they buy food from local shops where some item is more expensive than a Superstores. Also, today we live during a Covid-19. In terms of access to healthy food, lockdown is a big barrier. People struggle to go out, and sometimes they struggle to find products they need and most of the time buy ready to eat meals or take away.  Healthy Eating Barriers
  • Preference and food choices.  The wrong behaviours versus food dictate these barriers. Teenagers are a great example of that. They tend to buy junk food, alcohol and substance because they appear very trendy. They eat alone and do not always stay hydrated.
  • Lifestyle. Some job, long hours, stress, minimum wage leads us to a poor diet.
  • Religious and common beliefs.  Today, we have different religions that dictate what their followers have to eat. Besides, some people lie vegetarians and Vegan that choose a different diet in the sign of respect for the environment. Others choose a different lifestyle because they want to reach some target, such as building muscles or losing weight.

Religious groups and barriers to healthy eating

Firstly, “Muslims” follow “Islam”, one of the most followed religions in the world. This religion spreads in the Middle East, Indonesia, African Countries, ’ and today, we find minority groups worldwide. Secondly, their holy book Quran firmly rules their life, and in there, they find their diet. Their diet consists of

  • Halal food (allowed food)
  • Haram: Forbidden Food and Drink.

Secondly Jewish.  Their diet consists of “kosher” food identified as food who follow and satisfy the Jewish Rules.

  • The only kosher animals have cloven hooves and chew the cud such as cows, sheep, goats and deer. These animals have to be slaughtered with a ritual called “Shechitah”.
  • All the shellfish are allowed, but only specific fish are like Cod, Haddock.
  • All the products that are not made with forbidden food are allowed.

Forbidden Food

  • No blood and no alcohol.
  • No Food or meat does not satisfy the Jewish rules.
  • They must use different utensils.
  • Never eat and drink Milk together.
  • No food has been made with forbidden nutrients.  Healthy Eating Barriers


Groups, diet and Action Summary Healthy Eating Barriers

In conclusion, we saw different groups of people have different energy requirements, and consequently, different food barriers. Some of these barriers, such as Convenience, cost and misleading, can lead to obesity and health conditions. Others such as accessibility and costs could lead to religious, and people beliefs can lead to deficiency-related diseases such as anaemia or osteoporosis and eating disorders

Healthy Eating Facts


A balanced diet can help you to live longer and happier.


High blood pressure, heart diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes are related to an unhealthy lifestyle, and hundred years ago, they were rare diseases.


The only way a healthy diet works is by replacing foods with similar foods. We should not take any food away from our diet.

healthy eating barriers
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Planning On Changing Your Lifestyle?

Trying to focus on the solution rather than the causes. That will lead you to a different level of thinking, reduce your stress, and make you feel better. Being constantly under stress increase the level of cortisol. Cortisol loves to help our body to store fat in our hips and our abdomen.

Right now, we know how to identify our triggers and learn how to deal with them. After that, the biggest challenge has an action plan to prevent relapse. A good relapse prevention plan includes three main steps. Firstly, recognize your triggers, secondly, deal with them and finally use our self-efficacy to deal with them without back in the old habits.

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Nutritional Counsellor| specialised in Mental Helth and Eating Disorder| | Food Production

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