Energy-dense nutrient poor foods and drinks, often referred to as discretionary choices, can contribute a significant amount of energy, fat, sodium and sugar to the diet if consumed in large quantities. Currently many Australian children are consuming a diet that is characterised by large quantities of discretionary items. We undertook a qualitative study to gain a descriptive account of preadolescent children's attitudes and perceptions towards health and nutrition. A series of 6 focus groups and 14 individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with thirty-eight children aged 11–12 years, across three state government schools in a socially disadvantaged region of metropolitan South Australia. The naturalistic manner of qualitative inquiry led to several unintended yet highly pertinent emergent themes, including children's perceptions and practices surrounding discretionary food consumption. Our results indicate that while Australian guidelines recommend that discretionary foods are consumed ‘only sometimes and in small amounts’, children generally held a different belief with respect to what constituted ‘sometimes’. Many children identified that discretionary foods should be consumed in moderation to maintain a balanced diet, yet reported consuming these foods frequently. Self-reported discretionary food consumption was grounded in socially constructed experiences valued by the children, who made situational attributions to foods and legitimised discretionary food consumption in certain contexts, for example during the weekend. Overall, there is variability between children's opinions about the acceptable frequency of consumption of discretionary foods compared with national guidelines.
Appetite – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2018
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera