Haigazian University, Lebanon
Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Nutr Food Sci
Statement of the Problem: The current information environment around nutrition and physical activity is complex and often confusing to the public. Similarly, social determinants may mediate nutrition communication effects. The purpose of this study is to explore the most effective and trustful communication channels to the public about the evolving understanding of the relationship between nutrition, lifestyle and optimal health in Lebanon. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: A formative exploratory study was conducted to explore the most effective nutrition communication channels as perceived by a heterogeneous Lebanese sample (67 adults, 48 youth). An exhaustive integrated conceptual framework based on social marketing approach and mixing related theories and models was used in this study. Directed and semistructured individual interviews and focus groups were conducted. Collected data have been submitted to a thematic qualitative analysis. Findings: Knowledge alone cannot predict a healthy lifestyle especially among youth. A social marketing approach should be considered to succeed nutrition and physical activity messages. Success of various communication channels is subject to the influence of socio-demographic and cultural determinants, such as age, social class, social integration, geographical areas, and environmental support. Effective communication strategies should develop culturally relevant nutrition messages and delivery systems that take into account; the barriers to healthy lifestyles, the information sources, and the distinct population segments. Conclusion & Significance: Comprehensive sociocultural-based nutrition communication strategies can help to successfully promote nutrition, physical activity and prevent diseases.
Sima Hamadeh is an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Nutrition & Dietetics Sciences at Haigazian University-Lebanon. Her interests lie in areas such as the dietary motivations and behaviors in communities; the evolution of nutrition; the epidemiology of obesity especially among youth; the health promotion and communication; and the nutrition policies. Her Master and Doctoral studies were awarded, the “Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2009” - as Highly Commended Award Winner and the “Prix d’Excellence Scientifique Franco-Libanais 2015” for the outstanding research project respectively. She has several publications in scientific refereed journals and books. She has also many oral communications on public health nutrition in international and national congresses. She works closely with different national ministries and organizations, and international institutions in projects, seminars, researches and community programs. She is also former member of several executive international Scientific Committees and Associations.
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