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An exploratory study of eating patterns of Singapore children and teenagers

Presents a first attempt to investigate eating patterns in children in Singapore in terms of frequency, sources and types of food, with specific emphasis on eating outside the home. Two sets of data were collected. A guided questionnaire was administered to adults accompanying the pre‐school age children and young people at various eating outlets, hawker centres, food courts and fast food outlets. All 198 transcripts were usable. Overall, 19 per cent of those interviewed ate out five to seven times a week. The two most common reasons given for this were “convenience” (65, 33 per cent), and “nobody prepares home‐cooked meals” (62, 31 per cent). “Convenience” was most common among pre‐school (29, 48 per cent) and teenaged (27, 42 per cent) children, whereas “nobody cooks at home” (31, 43 per cent) was most common in school‐age children. Few boys said that they ate fruit or vegetables. This picture is in keeping with the pattern among Singaporean adults and may contribute to the high rate of obesity that increases risk of adult diseases. Research is needed to confirm these findings and to investigate the social influences on eating patterns with a view to designing effective nutrition/health education that can effect behavioural change. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Health Education Emerald Publishing
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