Contemporary adolescents often fail to have a healthy diet due to various reasons. This has led to an alarming number of obese teenagers who have a variety of health issues (Chelvakumar & Kessler, 2010). This study focuses on the factors affecting adolescents’ eating choices:
- Parents’ Influence
- Peer Pressure
- Focus on Academic Performance
- Media and Their Effect on Eating Habits
- Existing Policies
On balance, it is possible to note that several factors affect the development of adolescents’ eating habits. Notably, parents have a significant influence and, hence, policies developed should address parents as well as teenagers. The impact of media and especially beauty standards is still considerable. Therefore, it is possible to note that the government should develop more efficient policies that focus on the influence of parents and the media. Schools and healthcare units should be the primary advocates for healthy eating. Media should also be encouraged to contribute to the development of healthy eating habits in teenagers.
- What do you think about your health conditions? Reflection.
- What is your diet? Analysis, reflection.
- What are your family’s eating habits? Reflection.
- Do you think your eating habits are healthy? Analysis, reflection, logical reasoning, applying standards.
- What do you know about healthy eating habits? Who can be a role model when it comes to eating habits? Analysis, applying standards, logical reasoning.
- Do you think you should improve your eating habits to make them healthier? Analysis, applying standards, logical reasoning, reflection.
- What prevents you from having a healthy diet? Reflection.
- Rate the factors that often affect people’s dietary preferences. Explain your answers.
- Parents’ Influence
- Peer Pressure
- Academic Goals
Key to Questions
- Teenagers’ assessment of their health conditions will help the researcher to identify participants’ attitudes to their health and their knowledge on the matter. It has been found that teenagers who are aware of their health condition are more likely to have healthy eating habits (Wu et al., 2009).
- It is essential to review the diets of the participants to assess whether they are healthy or not. Self-reporting is an excellent procedure that will help the researcher, and it will also help the participants to pay more attention to their diets. Chan, Prendergast, Grønhøj, and Bech‐Larsen (2009) note that adolescents often consume unhealthy food.
- The answer to this question will provide the necessary information concerning the influence of parents. Pedersen, Grønhøj and Thøgersen (2015) state that parents’ eating habits rather than their recommendations have the most impact on teenagers’ choices.
- This answer will help to identify teenagers’ knowledge of healthy eating. Leme, Philippi, Da Silva (2011) claim that many adolescents are aware of healthy diets, which often results in their healthy eating.
- This question makes teenagers consider healthy foods in greater detail. It also reveals people who affect adolescents’ choices. Taylor, Evers and McKenna (2005) stress that media have an enormous effect on teenagers who try to follow an example of celebrities.
- This question enables the researcher to identify the participants’ readiness to change their diets. Wu et al. (2009) note that adolescents are often ready to change their habits after a thorough contemplation on the matter and when they are encouraged to do so.
- The researcher will be able to identify particular factors that contribute to the development of unhealthy eating habits. Taylor et al. (2005) claim that such factors, as media, parents’ influence and peer pressure are central. The question will help the researcher identify factors that are not mentioned in the literature available on the matter.
- The researcher will identify the impact of each factor mentioned above. Notably, Taylor et al. (2005) only mention them without identifying the most influential factors.
Chan, K., Prendergast, G., Grønhøj, A., Bech‐Larsen, T. (2009) Communicating healthy eating to adolescents. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 26(1), 6-14.
Chelvakumar, G., & Kessler, E. (2010). Seeding new ideas in adolescent eating habits. Wisconsin Medical Journal, 109(3), 157-158.
Leme, A.C.B., Philippi, S.T. Da Silva, E.C.T. (2011) Association of Brazilian adolescents with healthy eating: Knowledge, perceptions and food choices. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2(1), 1036-1042.
Pedersen, S., Grønhøj, A., & Thøgersen, J. (2015). Following family or friends. Social norms in adolescent healthy eating. Appetite, 86(1), 54-60.
Taylor, J.P., Evers, S., McKenna, M. (2005) Determinants of healthy eating in children and youth. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 96(3), 20-26.
Wu, T., Snider, J.B., Floyd, M.R., Florence, J.E., Stoots, J.M., Makamey, M.I. (2015). Intention for healthy eating among southern Appalachian teens. American Journal of Healthy Behavior, 33(2), 115-124.