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Open AccessArticle

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
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2015, 7(6), 4619-4637; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7064619
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)
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
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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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