Date of Conferral





Public Health


Shuey Schumaker


Nigerians have been opting for a more processed Western diet. These changes in dietary choices have aligned with obesity and undernutrition, attributable to micronutrient deficiencies or malnutrition. Many scholars have presented varying intervention strategies ranging from consumption of a variety of foods containing the necessary micronutrients to food fortification. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to explore the perceptions of women in an urban city in Nigeria on indigenous foods and Western dietary influences to determine social interactions, the consequence of the interactions, and the women’s current perceptions of food choices. The social-ecological model was used to explore the interaction between a woman and her environment. Women between the ages of 20 to 30 from the urban city of Jos, Nigeria, constituted the population of interest, and 12 women were chosen for the sample. From the in-depth interviews, a thematic analysis was employed to provide sociocontextual reasoning for changes in diet that have led to the loss of interest in traditional foods and cultures. This study found that Jos has a variety of foods, yet women choose the same staple foods to feed their families. Additionally, despite a marginal understanding of the health impact of diet, most women choose the convenience and palatability of Western options, citing cost as the rationale for choosing to cook staple Western-inspired meals at home. Understanding media, convenience, and cost can impact social change by enlightening communities on the interconnectedness of human health, cultures, and industrialization. Health care providers can monitor the outcomes of those who consume a variety of indigenous foods to see how such a practice could influence the overall health status of Nigerian families.