Next Article in Journal
I Eat Healthier Than You: Differences in Healthy and Unhealthy Food Choices for Oneself and for Others
Next Article in Special Issue
Does Motivation for Exercise Influence Post-Exercise Snacking Behavior?
Previous Article in Journal
Contribution of Food Groups to Energy and Nutrient Intakes in Five Developed Countries
Previous Article in Special Issue
Food Choice Architecture: An Intervention in a Secondary School and its Impact on Students’ Plant-based Food Choices
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Nutrients 2015, 7(6), 4619-4637;

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

Nutrition & Dietetics, School of Health & Wellbeing, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS1 3HE, UK
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)
Full-Text   |   PDF [130 KB, uploaded 19 June 2015]   |  


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

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Nutrients EISSN 2072-6643 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top