Deakin University
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Nutrition promotion approaches preferred by Australian adolescents attending schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods: a qualitative study

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BACKGROUND: Links between socioeconomic disadvantage and unhealthy eating behaviours among adolescents are well established. Little is known about strategies that might support healthy eating among this target group. This study aimed to identify potential strategies and preferred dissemination methods that could be employed in nutrition promotion initiatives focussed on improving eating behaviours among socioeconomically disadvantaged adolescents. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2011 among 22 adolescents (12-15 years) recruited from secondary schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Victoria, Australia. RESULTS: Strategies suggested by adolescents to support healthy eating included increasing awareness about healthy eating; greater cooking involvement; greater parental and peer support; frequent family meal participation; greater parental and peer role-modelling of healthy eating; increased availability of healthy foods and decreased availability of unhealthy foods in homes and schools. Adolescents preferred electronic media, adolescent-specific recipe books, and school-based methods for distributing nutrition promotion messages and strategies. CONCLUSIONS: A number of suggested strategies and methods identified in the present investigation have been employed with success in previous nutrition promotion interventions targeting socioeconomically disadvantaged adolescents. The present study also contributes novel insights into potential strategies and methods that could be employed in initiatives aiming to improve eating behaviours in this vulnerable group, and particularly highlights the importance of incorporating strategies involving parents and modifying the home food environment.



BMC Pediatrics




Article Number : 61

Article number



1 - 12


BioMed Central


London, Eng.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, The Authors