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ERIC Number: EJ842313
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0017-8969
Perceptions of Healthy Eating: A Qualitative Study of School-Going Children in South India
Swaminathan, S.; Thomas, T.; Kurpad, A. V.; Vaz, M.
Health Education Journal, v68 n2 p94-110 2009
Objective: To document children's views on healthy eating, perceptions of healthy and unhealthy foods and health consequences of consuming unhealthy foods. Design: Baseline data from a three-year longitudinal study. Setting A purposive sample of 307 school children aged 7 to 15 years were recruited from three schools representing various socio-economic status (SES). Method: An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information from children on their general dietary habits, perceptions on meaning of healthy eating, healthy and unhealthy foods and perceived health consequences of consuming unhealthy foods. Content analysis of the data was performed. Results: Children's views on the meaning of healthy eating centred around seven concepts. In older children, those with mothers with higher educational levels and normal/underweight children, perception of meaning of healthy eating was largely based on diet composition. Listings of healthy foods varied based on age group, gender and mother's educational level, while that of unhealthy foods was related to age group and SES. This knowledge, however, did not translate into eating choices, with no differences in intake of fried foods/snacks, aerated drinks, fast foods, sweets and chocolates evident across age groups, gender, SES and mother's educational level. Children from families with a history of chronic disease had an increased awareness (p less than 0.001) of links between unhealthy eating and chronic disease, although intakes did not differ from those children without a family history of chronic disease. Conclusion: A concerted effort is required to translate the knowledge of children into positive behaviour change towards healthy eating. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India