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Top shelf foods and drinks: Female adolescents' eating motives, constraints and behaviours during the school day

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This paper reports the findings of a study on female adolescents' food choice motives, constraints and behaviours over the course of the school day. A model of top shelf food and drink (TSFD) consumption is developed. TSFDs relate to those foods located towards the top of the food pyramid as presented in the current Irish guide to healthy eating and are advised to be consumed in very small amounts or used sparingly. The findings support negative associations between TSFD consumption and the importance of health/physique, diet/slimming and natural ingredients to the adolescent. Perceived guardians' knowledge of adolescents' eating behaviour was also found to be negatively related to the frequency of TSFD consumption. Positive associations with TSFD consumption are found with regards to the availability of these foods in school, and price and trendiness motives. The provision of lunch money was found to be positively associated with availability of food in schools.

Keywords: Adolescents; food choice motives; healthy eating; intervention; schools

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Food Business and Development, University College Cork, Ireland

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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