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Association of Brazilian Adolescents with Healthy Eating: Knowledge, Perceptions and Food Choices

DOI: 10.4236/fns.2011.29138, PP. 1036-1042

Keywords: Adolescents, Healthy Eating, Qualitative Study, Knowledge and Perceptions

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Abstract:

The aim of this study is to identify the adolescents’ knowledge and perceptions of healthy and unhealthy eating. It is a qualitative cross section study with 83 adolescents of both genders between 10 and 16 years old enrolled in a public school in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. The participants answered two discursive questions that assessed their knowledge and perception of their actual diet. These questions were later analyzed by a qualitative technique, “Discourse of Collective Subject” based on the Theory of Social Representations. Overall, the youth presented an adequate knowledge about healthy eating. About half (52.6%) reported a balanced and varied diet; and 56.3% considered their actual diet as being healthy. Adolescents’ knowledge about healthy eating isn’t the only determinant for their food choices; and so traditional nutritional interventions focusing on concepts about healthy eating should be modified, aiming at behavioral changes.

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