Factors in the school cafeteria influencing food choices by high school students.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This study set three objectives: 1) to examine the perceived influence of health concerns, labeling and nutrition information, taste, cost, availability, and peers on adolescents' food choices, particularly in the school cafeteria; 2) to determine whether these factors vary by gender, grade level, or adolescents' health and weight concerns; and 3) to provide recommendations regarding promotion of low-fat foods in the school cafeteria based on factors associated with food choices. Data were collected from a school survey that assessed key influences on adolescents' food choices, including low-fat foods. Some 289 students in grades 10-12 from a senior high school in a metropolitan area served as subjects. Descriptive statistics, chi-square, and general linear models were used for analysis. Results indicated that, when choosing foods from the school cafeteria, taste and getting a lot for their money were important to most students (93.7% and 71.7%, respectively). Females, and students who thought about their health and weight more frequently when deciding what to eat, were more likely to report greater interest in labeling and nutrition information and availability of low-fat foods in the school cafeteria. Findings suggest that efforts to promote low-fat foods to adolescents need to address the taste of low-fat foods, availability of low-fat options, and point-of-purchase labeling of low-fat foods. Focusing on the value and cost of low-fat foods may offer a key strategy for promoting low-fat foods to males.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shannon, C; Story, M; Fulkerson, JA; French, SA

Published Date

  • August 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 72 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 229 - 234

PubMed ID

  • 12212407

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-4391

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2002.tb07335.x


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States