Eating behaviour of young female workers with low socioeconomic status in Malang City, East Java: A qualitative study

Intan Yusuf Habibie*, Inge Brouwer, Judhiastuty Februhartanty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: Eating behaviour is one of the important factors affecting nutritional status that has been widely investigated. However, there are few studies on the eating behaviour of young female workers in Indonesia. This study aimed at investigating the factors affecting eating behaviour of young female workers of low socioeconomic status in Malang, East Java province, Indonesia. Methods: Participants were recruited using purposive sampling from low-income families living in Malang City. The eligibility criteria were based on demographic information, including monthly household income and expenses. The participants recruited comprised 21 women aged 18-22 years who were employed outside their homes, unmarried and living with their parents. A qualitative methodology was used to understand the meaning and context of the eating behaviour of these women. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used as the primary data collection methods. Results: Two primary themes emerged as the main influences of the participants' eating behaviour: individual attributes (food preferences, healthy eating knowledge and self-efficacy), and socio-environmental factors (peer influence, mother's role and food availability). In general, the participants had some knowledge about healthy eating behaviour; however, they lacked self-efficacy to practise such behaviour. Conclusion: Individual motivations and socio-environmental factors were found to mediate the eating behaviour of young working women from poor households. These factors should be considered when designing nutrition programmes for achieving healthier eating behaviour among young working women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S75-S86
JournalMalaysian Journal of Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Eating behaviour
  • Indonesia
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Qualitative study
  • Young female workers


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