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The Barriers Influencing Healthy Eating During Adolescence Development

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Adolescence can be described as rapid growth and development as biological, psychosocial and emotional changes. During this period adolescents require nutritional value which is particularly relevant for young people because the adequate intake of nutrients and energy is critical for growth (World Health Organization [WHO], 2012). Barriers can be explained as an obstacle that prevents movement or access, for example, Low socioeconomic status, lack of knowledge and limited healthy options at school can contribute to reasons that limit adolescents from healthy eating. (Helpguide, 2019) explains that healthy eating is explained that it is not about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather it’s about feeling great having more energy, improving your health and boost your mood.

An article researched stated that improvement of health focusing on healthy eating, physical exercise and mental health promotion Is the most effective way to influence overall health (Melo. H et al 2013) therefore highlighting the important of education to adolescents that are merely focused on the social media, risk-taking behaviours and substance use rather gain knowledge on the benefit of healthy eating.

Alternatively promoting health options such as physical activity, sports are more likely to increase adolescent’s health. Vic Health (2015) states there is strong evidence that food prices, and the relative prices of different foods, influences consumption. Hence recommend using food labelling as it is a significant tool as it has possible for additional benefits however the use of nutritional labels tends to be considerably lower among lower-income less-educated groups VicHealth (2019)

Aim: To investigate the barriers adolescents are facing that constraint them from healthy eating? To analyse the issue

Methodology: The report used in this study were collected from the Victoria University Library catalogue, the journal was used from this source as well as department of education websites. The Journal data bases were EBSCO to full text. Google scholar used for additional information for definitions etc. The keywords that were search were: Adolescent, Healthy eating, Barriers, nutrition and education.

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Result and Discussion

The three empirical studies I used where investigating the barriers adolescent are facing on healthy eating subjects. The reports used similar methods to collect data and evidence. They all used qualitative data however their use of methodology differs as in of the amount participants and the type of questions to collect.

The work produced by Melo. H, et al (2013) participants were (aged between 10 and 15) from 16 different schools from fifth to ninth grade in (North of Portugal) were interviewed including 16 teachers used face to face semi structured interviews guide open ended questions were developed taking in consideration of nutrition’s programs within school. Melo. H, et al (2013) took interest the view of different school’s perceptions towards the three-dimensional surveys: Part I nutrition education activities, Part II frequency of food outlet and Part III strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. The participants were asked to recommend, Rate, recommend and write perceptions and the result for the first strategy displayed was 67% of the 15 participants identified changes in student’ nutrition such as students nutrition knowledge, eating habits, student’s involvement in nutrition activities Melo. H, et al (2013). The second dimension of frequency of the accessibility, the participants revealed 56% considered healthy eating behaviours students shop for high energy density food such as deep -fried food, hot-dogs Melo. H, et al (2013) etc. the third form can be used for future resolutions and actions to be taken into account.

Cho. H, et al (2004) examines the barriers and source the school needs in order to improve the nutritional environment in Massachusetts, United states. The participants were between the 217 were randomly selected and sent out surveys 217 questions split between principles, directors, nurses and health educators. Two questions were asked for each program (1) what do you think will be protentional roadblocks in your school’s implementing the quality lunch program and second question (2) “what resource do you think will need to implement the nutrition education system? (Cho. H, et al (2004) to respond with their opinions and reason why these barriers occur. 55 respondents, 10 were principles, 18 were food service directors and 27 were nurse or health educators. Qualitive questions response were lack of funding as fundamental issue obstructing quality lunch Cho & Nadow (2004). The participants were able to identify and listed lack of time, lack of facilitating staff, lack of supporting material for classroom nutrition and education. Therefore, they have suggested that many factors contribute to the barrier’s adolescents face.

The final journal by Payan. D et al (2017) investigated 64 adolescents at 3 Los Angeles high school between the age of 14 to 19. The qualitative study to collect data was self-administered questionnaire on sociodemographic characteristics, nutrition, physical activity, height and weight. The participants reported that fruits and vegetables were available however expensive, poor quality and lack of motivation as barriers for consumption Payan. D et al (2017). Both tables response dominants response was the healthy items were more expensive compared to the unhealthy items in their area therefore the options to buy organic food is limited. A participant responded that the lack of variety options plays apart. They suggested that if they had more options at the canteen in their school, they would consider consumption nutritional options.

All the articles were similar, and all investigated the barriers adolescents facing on healthy eating matters and each article had limitations, however the research conducted by Cho. H, et al (2013) was relating with the topic on the barriers that adolescents are facing toward healthy eating. The research conducted had different schools, nurse and principles perceptions that can be implemented within the school. The selected participants were randomly selected therefore represents the overpopulation views by eliminating biased opinions Cho, H (2013). When collecting the data, they were over sampled to make sure its sufficient. In this study It doesn’t mention the gender difference that could affect the study. The study by Melo. H, et al (2013) questionnaire was


All the studies have shown that there are varieties barriers that influence adolescents healthy eating. Ensuring that all adolescents are maintaining their weight and intaking nutritious food by implementing it to the parents and healthy options within school.

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The Barriers Influencing Healthy Eating During Adolescence Development. (2021, September 03). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from
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