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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

TORAL, Natacha; CONTI, Maria Aparecida  and  SLATER, Betzabeth. Healthy eating according to teenagers: perceptions, barriers, and expected characteristics of teaching materials. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.11, pp. 2386-2394. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2009001100009.

The aim of this study was to evaluate perceptions, barriers, and characteristics of teaching materials to promote healthy eating, as described by teenagers. Four focus groups were conducted with 25 adolescents, including questions on: perceptions regarding diet and motivations to change; concepts of (and barriers to) healthy eating; and characteristics needed for teaching materials to promote healthy eating. The teens were often undecided when attempting to classify a diet as healthy. They generally reported feeling insecure about making dietary changes, but showed adequate notions of healthy eating. The main barriers involved personal and social characteristics: temptation, food flavors, parental influence, and lack of time and options for healthy snacks at school. According to these teenagers, educational materials for promotion of healthy eating should emphasize the immediate benefits and emphasize high-impact messages on the health risks of unhealthy diet.

Keywords : Feeding Behavior; Adolescent Health; Health Promotion.

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