This article uses a population health perspective to examine the complex set of interactions among the determinants of healthy eating. An overview of current knowledge on determinants of healthy eating was organized as follows: 1) individual determinants of personal food choices and 2) collective determinants, including a) environmental determinants as the context for eating behaviours and b) public policies as creating supportive environments for healthy eating. A conceptual synthesis of the literature revealed that individual determinants of personal food choice (physiological state, food preferences, nutritional knowledge, perceptions of healthy eating and psychological factors) are necessary, but not sufficient, to explain eating behaviour, which is highly contextual. Collective determinants of eating behaviour include a wide range of contextual factors, such as the interpersonal environment created by family and peers, the physical environment, which determines food availability and accessibility, the economic environment, in which food is a commodity to be marketed for profit, and the social environment, in which social status (income, education and gender) and cultural milieu are determinants of healthy eating that may be working "invisibly" to structure food choice. Policy is a powerful means of mediating multiple environments. There are gaps in our understanding of the process of intervening in macro-level environments and the impact of such interventions on the promotion of healthy eating. Collective determinants of food choice and policy contexts for promoting healthy eating, therefore, require investment in research. Applying a population health promotion lens to understanding the multiple contexts influencing healthy eating provides insight into prioritizing research and action strategies for the promotion of healthy eating.