Factors Influencing Food Preferences of Adolescents in Aligarh City: Findings from Focus-Group Discussion with Adolescents

Iram Aslam, Anisa M Durrani


Objective: To assess adolescents’ perception about factors influencing their food preferences and eating behaviors.

Design: Data was collected in focus group discussions.

Subjects: The sample size was 100, out of which 50 were boys in S.T. High School and 50 were in Girls High School of A.M.U. Aligarh

Analysis: Data was analyzed by using qualitative research methodology, specifically the constant comparative method.

Result: Factors perceived as influencing on eating behaviors (including the culture or religion of the family), benefits of food (including health), situation specific factors, mood, and body image, habit, cost, media and vegetarian beliefs. Major barriers to eating more fruits vegetable and dairy products and eating fewer high fat foods included a lack of sense of urgency about personal health in relation to other concern and taste preferences for other foods. Suggestions for helping adolescents eat a more healthful diet include making healthful food taste and look better, limiting the availability of unhealthful food more available and convenient, teaching children good eating habits at an early age and changing social norms to make it cool to eat healthfully.

Applications/conclusion: The findings suggest that if program to improve adolescent nutrition are to be effective, they need to address a broad range of factors, in particular environmental factors (eg the increased availability and promotion of appealing, convenient foods within homes schools and restaurants.


Balanced diet, Food preference, Eating behaviors, Nutritional intake

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