By ordering a higher fat and culturally appropriate meal, you are showing that you enjoy and are interested in participating in the cultural practices of your research community. However, are you sending mixed messages about nutrition and encouraging your research participants to eat meals that may be less healthy for them?
Respect for persons:
Ordering a meal that was part of the culture of your research participants shows that you respect cultural foods and their choice to eat them.
By eating something that may be considered unhealthy, you may set your research participant at ease to speak with you honestly without the risk of you judging her behavior. You show that you really are interested in what they eat and want to do the best possible research by participating in the eating of a range of foods.
Understanding why your community makes the choices they make is important to your research. The research will, hopefully, be of use to the community in working to improve nutritional health, ultimately improving health equity and justice for the community.
In the end, the researcher felt that ordering such a high fat and calorie meal would send mixed messages about how she hoped her research would benefit the community. She was interested in determining why food choices were made but still was looked to for nutritional advice and did not want her choice to equate to poor advice.
By ordering a salad, you present a healthy example while being honest about what you like to eat. However, are you simply reinforcing the stereotype of the slim upper/middle class New Yorker and making your participant feel self-conscious about her choice of meal and, ultimately, compromising the research through ...
By ordering a higher fat and culturally appropriate meal, you are showing that you enjoy and are interested in participating in the cultural practices of your research community. However, are you sending mixed messages about nutrition and encouraging your research participants to eat meals that may be less healthy ...
By ordering the soup, you show that you appreciate Mexican foods and, also, that you understand that these foods can be nutritious and delicious. Chicken soup is not considered a "special" food so you show that you enjoy simple foods. But are you really being honest about yourself?
Balancing the dilemma of ordering is overwhelming so you ask your research participant if she would choose a meal for you. This relieves you of the responsibility and may give you a unique window into how your participant perceives you but is it really ethical to give up control ...