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Article

Children’s Perceptions about Environmental Sustainability, Food, and Nutrition in Chile: A Qualitative Study

1
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, 150 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111, USA
2
Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 6850331, Chile
3
Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Santiago 7830489, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9679; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189679
Received: 12 August 2021 / Revised: 8 September 2021 / Accepted: 9 September 2021 / Published: 14 September 2021
Food is inextricably linked to human health and environmental sustainability; however, very little is known about children’s perceptions of the concept of sustainability in the context of food choices. We aimed to explore the perceptions of Chilean schoolchildren about environmental sustainability, food, and nutrition. Eight online focus groups were conducted with boys and girls aged 8–9 (n = 30). Questions related to environmental sustainability, pocket money, and food characteristics such as price, front-of-package (FOP) warning label, and eco-labels were included. Data analysis was conducted using ATLAS.ti through a hybrid content analysis approach. Five central themes were identified: (1) children’s favorite snacks, (2) knowledge of sustainability, (3) sustainability and eco-labels use, (4) healthfulness of food products, and (5) pocket money and food prices. Most children were not aware of the meaning of “environmental sustainability”, but the concept was understood when it was explained in plain language. Participants showed awareness about the environmental impact of their eating behavior, had a positive perception of eco-labels, and identified food with fewer warning labels as “better” options. Results indicate that children understand the concept of sustainability in food if it is communicated clearly, and that eco-labels may be an effective tool in that effort. View Full-Text
Keywords: schoolchildren; sustainability; food; eco-labeling; warning labels; focus groups schoolchildren; sustainability; food; eco-labeling; warning labels; focus groups
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fretes, G.; Sepúlveda, A.; Corvalán, C.; Cash, S.B. Children’s Perceptions about Environmental Sustainability, Food, and Nutrition in Chile: A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9679. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189679

AMA Style

Fretes G, Sepúlveda A, Corvalán C, Cash SB. Children’s Perceptions about Environmental Sustainability, Food, and Nutrition in Chile: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(18):9679. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189679

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fretes, Gabriela, Amapola Sepúlveda, Camila Corvalán, and Sean B. Cash 2021. "Children’s Perceptions about Environmental Sustainability, Food, and Nutrition in Chile: A Qualitative Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 18: 9679. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189679

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