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Daily rhythms of eating in Santiago, Chile

Claudia Giacoman (Instituto de Sociologia, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile)
Daniella Leal (Instituto de Sociologia, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile)
Valentina Rivera (Instituto de Sociologia, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to explore the daily rhythms of eating, namely, the times at which food intake occurs during a day-long period, in Santiago, Chile.


The data used in this research come from a first time-use survey applied in Santiago in 2007 and 2008, which works with a retrospective activity journal to document the amount of time dedicated to different activities during the 24 hours of the previous day. Descriptive analysis and multinomial regressions were performed on a sample size of 2,282 cases, corresponding to those individuals over the age of 12 who responded to the daily activity prompt in full.


This study shows that people in Santiago tend to eat according to the same timetables (morning, midday and evening) and that socio-demographic variables have limited influence on the synchronization of this intake between Monday and Friday.

Research limitations/implications

The data did not allow for the exploration of the duration of food intake, commensality and its variation over time.

Practical implications

These data reveal that, for Santiago residents, eating is far from becoming de-structured towards a mode of constant grazing throughout the day, contradicting the thesis of alimentary modernity.


These results yield evidence that calls into question the applicability of the thesis of alimentary modernity within a Latin American context, which has not before been subject to investigation.



The authors would like to thank to Anne Lhussier, Jesús Contreras and María Jesús Vega for their precious comments. In addition, the authors would like to thank to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística de Chile for the data. This work was supported by a grant from the Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT No. 11140407). FONDECYT had no role in any part of this study.


Giacoman, C., Leal, D. and Rivera, V. (2017), "Daily rhythms of eating in Santiago, Chile", British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 6, pp. 1189-1201.



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