Why don’t adolescents eat fish? Factors influencing fish consumption in school
AbstractBackground: Theory-based research is needed to promote healthy eating in adolescents and to work out interventions. Objective: To examine what factors influence adolescents’ fish consumption in school. Design: A total of 162 pupils from the 8th grade (age º14 years) at two schools completed a questionnaire based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour. In 150 of these subjects, fish consumption was assessed by observation on four occasions. Results: Attitudes towards the fish, friends’ behaviour and perceived control were important predictors of the intention to eat fish. Barriers for . sh consumption were a negative attitude towards both the smell and the accompaniments, and fear of finding bones. It may not be surprising that eaters of fish were more satisfied with the taste, texture and appearance of the fish and rated satiety significantly higher than resisters. They also thought to a greater extent that the fish was healthy and prepared with care. Conclusions : The results suggest that it is important to alter dishes so that they appeal to children and to pay attention to the whole meal, accompaniments included. Finally, it may be of great importance to convey to the pupils that the fish served is healthy and prepared with care. Keywords: Children, dietary assessment, food habits, home economics, school canteen, theory of planned behaviour.
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