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Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 996; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10080996

‘Buying Salad Is a Lot More Expensive than Going to McDonalds’: Young Adults’ Views about What Influences Their Food Choices

1
Prevention Research Collaboration, Sydney School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Level 6 Charles Perkins Centre D17, Johns Hopkins Drive, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
2
School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, University of Glasgow, New Lister Building, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G4 0SF, UK
3
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Level 4 Charles Perkins Centre D17, Johns Hopkins Drive, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 June 2018 / Revised: 21 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Behaviours during Young Adulthood)
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Abstract

Young adults (18–30 years of age) are an ‘at-risk’ group for poor dietary behaviours and less healthy food choices. Previous research with young adults has looked at the barriers and enablers driving their food choices, focusing primarily on university and college students. However, there is less research using qualitative methods with young adults as a broader population group. This study aimed to explore the experiences of young adults in two different yet similar settings: Sydney, Australia and Glasgow, Scotland. Eight focus groups of young adult participants, ranging in size from 2–6 participants, were held in Sydney, Australia (n = 14) and Glasgow, Scotland (n = 16) to discuss, explore and compare the determinants and influences of their food choices. Focus group transcripts were coded thematically based on a process of narrative analysis. Three major narratives were identified across both locations: value of food; appeal of food; and emotional connections with food. These narratives were underpinned by a broader narrative of ‘performing adulthood.’ This narrative reflected a belief amongst participants that they should make rational, informed choices about food despite this conflicting with their broader food environment. Future research could examine which environment-level or policy-based interventions are most acceptable to young adults in terms of influencing their food choices and dietary behaviours. View Full-Text
Keywords: young adults; food choices; food environments; attitudes; prevention; Australia; Scotland young adults; food choices; food environments; attitudes; prevention; Australia; Scotland
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Howse, E.; Hankey, C.; Allman-Farinelli, M.; Bauman, A.; Freeman, B. ‘Buying Salad Is a Lot More Expensive than Going to McDonalds’: Young Adults’ Views about What Influences Their Food Choices. Nutrients 2018, 10, 996.

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