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Nutrients 2015, 7(6), 4619-4637; doi:10.3390/nu7064619

Adolescents’ Food Choice and the Place of Plant-Based Foods

1
Nutrition & Dietetics, School of Health & Wellbeing, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS1 3HE, UK
2
Health & Wellbeing Service, Leeds City Council, Leeds LS12 1DB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 March 2015 / Accepted: 21 May 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition: A Social Psychological Perspective)
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Abstract

A diet dominated by plant foods, with limited amounts of refined processed foods and animal products conveys substantial health benefits. This study sought to explore adolescents’ attitudes and perceptions towards plant-based foods. Semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted with adolescents (age 14–15 years) (n = 29) attending an inner city school in Yorkshire, UK. Using a grounded theory methodology, data analysis provided four main categories and related concepts revolving around adolescents’ perspectives on plant-based foods: food choice parameters; perceived drivers and benefits of plant-based foods; environmental food cues; barriers to plant-based food choice. In the emergent grounded theory, a clear disconnect between plant-based foods and the parameters that adolescents use to make food choices, is highlighted. Further, key barriers to adolescents adopting a plant-based diet are differentiated and considered with respect to practice and policy. The analysis offers a framework to remodel and re-present plant-based foods. In this way, it is proposed that a closer connection is possible, with consequent shifts in adolescents’ dietary behaviour towards a more plant-based diet and associated health benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescents; food choice; plant-based foods; qualitative methods adolescents; food choice; plant-based foods; qualitative methods
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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Ensaff, H.; Coan, S.; Sahota, P.; Braybrook, D.; Akter, H.; McLeod, H. Adolescents’ Food Choice and the Place of Plant-Based Foods. Nutrients 2015, 7, 4619-4637.

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