Understanding the food choice process of adolescents in the context of family and friends. Journal of Adolescent Health, 38(5), 575-582

Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Ватерлоо, Ontario, Canada
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 2.75). 06/2006; 38(5):575-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2005.05.025
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To understand from the adolescents' own perspective the decision-making processes they use to make food choices on an everyday basis and how they resolve their need for personal control over food choices with the values of family and peers.
A sample of 108 adolescents, aged 11-18 years, were individually interviewed. They were asked in a simulated task to choose a lunch from a menu of offerings and give reasons for their choices. In addition, open-ended questions probed for meal structures, dinners, perceptions of degree of choice, role of family and peers. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, coded, and analyzed for emerging themes.
Primary food choice criteria were taste, familiarity/habit, health, dieting, and fillingness. Lunches had a definite structure, and lunches differed from dinners. The food choice process involved personal food decision-making rules such as trade-offs among choice criteria within a meal (e.g., taste for core items and health for secondary items), and between lunches with peers (taste) and family dinners (health); negotiation patterns with the family (autonomy versus family needs); and interactions with peers.
The food choice process for most adolescents seemed to involve cognitive self-regulation where conflicting values for food choices were integrated and brought into alignment with desired consequences. Educators and practitioners should recognize the dilemmas adolescents face in making food choices and help them develop strategies for balancing less healthful with more healthful food items, through: (a) personal food decision-making rules, (b) effective negotiations with family members; and (c) appropriate interaction patterns with peers.

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    • "Food habits of an adolescent will not only define his growth and development in this phase but also remain in adulthood and eventually contribute to the development of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) [6]. Given that eating habits may influence current health and also health status lifelong [7] [8], adolescence becomes a peculiar period for lifestyle intervention to prevent NCD and avoid body fat accumulation [9] [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: We have hypothesized that higher n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake is associated with better lipid profile, higher 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) serum concentrations, and healthy food consumption and nutritional status. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the relationships between n-3 PUFA intake, serum 25(OH)D, lipid profile, nutritional status, and food consumption among adolescents. A total of 198 Brazilian adolescents (51% male), with mean age of 16.3 ± 1.4 years, were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Blood was collected for 25(OH)D and lipid profile serum measurement. Weight and height were measured, and food consumption was accessed by a 24-hour food record (n = 69). Analysis of variance, the Student t test, and Pearson correlation were performed using SPSS software (SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA). The prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy (25(OH)D, <30 ng/mL) was 71.7%. Serum 25(OH)D negatively correlated with body mass index (r = -0.294; P < .0001) and positively correlated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (r = 0.323; P < .0001). N-3 PUFA intake negatively correlated with body mass index (r = -0.286; P = .017), total cholesterol (r = -0.292; P = .015), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (r = -0.333; P = .005) and positively correlated with the intake of fat meats and eggs (r = 0.391; P = .006), vegetable proteins (r = 0.297; P = .048), fats/oils (r = 0.574; P < .001), and refined cereals (r = 0.351; P = .006). Vitamin D status and n-3 PUFA intake were related with better nutritional status and favorable lipid profile. Food groups usually found in Brazilian traditional meals (characterized by rice, beans, meat, and vegetables) were associated with higher n-3 PUFA intake, which may contribute to prevent the development of noncommunicable diseases in adolescence and adulthood. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Nutrition research 06/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.nutres.2015.05.018 · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    • "Unlike previously reported qualitative studies which have placed adolescent food choice within the context of the home/family (Bassett et al., 2008; Holsten et al., 2012; Hunt et al., 2011) or school (Contento et al., 2007; Cullen et al., 2000; Fitzgerald et al., 2010; McKinley et al., 2005; Neumark-Sztainer et al., 1999; Stevenson et al., 2007), this research has located young people outside of (the constraints of) these 'imposed' environments and within the community support system where the young people engage socially with peers. It is generally accepted that to better understand health related behaviour and how to encourage change will require the collaboration of those in research and practice (Barker & Swift, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: The number of young people in Europe who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) is increasing. Given that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to have diets of poor nutritional quality, this exploratory study sought to understand barriers and facilitators to healthy eating and dietary health promotion needs of unemployed young people aged 16–20 years. Three focus group discussions were held with young people (n = 14). Six individual interviews and one paired interview with service providers (n = 7). Data were recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically content analysed. Themes were then fitted to social cognitive theory (SCT). Despite understanding of the principles of healthy eating, a ‘spiral’ of interrelated social, economic and associated psychological problems was perceived to render food and health of little value and low priority for the young people. The story related by the young people and corroborated by the service providers was of a lack of personal and vicarious experience with food. The proliferation and proximity of fast food outlets and the high perceived cost of ‘healthy’ compared to ‘junk’ food rendered the young people low in self-efficacy and perceived control to make healthier food choices. Agency was instead expressed through consumption of junk food and drugs. Both the young people and service providers agreed that for dietary health promotion efforts to succeed, social problems needed addressed and agency encouraged through (individual and collective) active engagement of the young people themselves.
    Appetite 02/2015; 85:146-154. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2014.11.010 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    • "The recent rapid increase in the overall prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents indicates that environmental factors, and particularly behaviours linked to diet and physical activity, are central to the causation of obesity [2]. South Africa, as a country in economic and health transition, is facing a triple burden of morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), and violence and injuries [3]. One result of this transition is the increase in obesity prevalence as a risk factor for NCDs [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Dietary behaviours and physical activity are modifiable risk factors to address increasing levels of obesity among children and adolescents, and consequently to reduce later cardiovascular and metabolic disease. This paper explores perceptions, attitudes, barriers, and facilitators related to healthy eating and physical activity among adolescent girls in rural South Africa. Methods A qualitative study was conducted in the rural Agincourt subdistrict, covered by a health and sociodemographic surveillance system, in Mpumalanga province, South Africa. Semistructured “duo-interviews” were carried out with 11 pairs of adolescent female friends aged 16 to 19 years. Thematic content analysis was used. Results The majority of participants considered locally grown and traditional foods, especially fruits and vegetables, to be healthy. Their consumption was limited by availability, and these foods were often sourced from family or neighbourhood gardens. Female caregivers and school meal programmes facilitated healthy eating practices. Most participants believed in the importance of breakfast, even though for the majority, limited food within the household was a barrier to eating breakfast before going to school. The majority cited limited accessibility as a major barrier to healthy eating, and noted the increasing intake of “convenient and less healthy foods”. Girls were aware of the benefits of physical activity and engaged in various physical activities within the home, community, and schools, including household chores, walking long distances to school, traditional dancing, and extramural activities such as netball and soccer. Conclusions The findings show widespread knowledge about healthy eating and the benefits of consuming locally grown and traditional food items in a population that is undergoing nutrition transition. Limited access and food availability are strong barriers to healthy eating practices. School meal programmes are an important facilitator of healthy eating, and breakfast provision should be considered as an extension of the meal programme. Walking to school, cultural dance, and extramural activities can be encouraged and thus are useful facilitators for increasing physical activity among rural adolescent girls, where the prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing.
    BMC Pediatrics 08/2014; 14(1):211. DOI:10.1186/1471-2431-14-211 · 1.92 Impact Factor
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