PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH

South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register



Adolescent food frequency and socio-economic status in a private urban and peri-urban school in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal

KA Audain, SM Kassier, FJ Veldman

Abstract


Objective: The objective of the study was to make a comparative analysis of the dietary preferences of adolescents attending an urban versus a peri-urban school in KwaZulu-Natal, in order to investigate the association between socio-economic status and food frequency.
Design: The design was a cross-sectional descriptive survey.
Setting: The setting was an urban and peri-urban high school in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal.
Subjects: One hundred and eleven grade 9-11 learners from a peri-urban school, and 98 grade 9-11 learners from an urban school, volunteered to participate.
Outcome measures: A non-quantified food frequency questionnaire was used to assess food frequency. A socio-demographic questionnaire developed for the purpose of this study was utilised to collect information on parental education, employment status and household or accommodation data. A Household Food Insecurity Access Scale  questionnaire was used to determine the household food insecurity of the learners.
Results: The findings indicated that there was a higher preference for globalised foods (high in fat and sugar), particularly fast food, by learners from the peri-urban school (p-value < 0.01). These learners were also more likely to consume locally available, high-fat snacks (p-value < 0.01). Grade 10 urban school learners consumed more red meat and processed meats than their peri-urban school counterparts (p-value < 0.01). Negative correlations were observed between parental education and employment status (particularly of the mothers) and fast food consumption in  adolescents (p-value < 0.01).
Conclusion: A high frequency of globalised or energy-dense food intake was associated with low socio-economic status. Although healthy eating habits were generally poor in urban and peri-urban adolescents, food sources varied, possibly owing to cost and availability. The importance of a diverse diet and the inclusion of a wider range of affordable, nutrient-rich foods should be promoted in the school setting, and also to parents, particularly those of a lower socio-economic status.



http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/16070658.2014.11734510
AJOL African Journals Online