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.
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