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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Supplement 1, pp eS48–eS52 | Cite as

An examination of the roles played by early adolescent children in interactions with their local food environment

  • Rachel Engler-StringerEmail author
  • Joelle Schaefer
  • Tracy Ridalls
Qualitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to examine how pre- and early adolescent (10-14 years old) children from a wide range of neighbourhoods interact with their local food environment (FE), with a focus on the foods and food sources they access and their locations. Children in this age group are developing independence and mobility within (and beyond) their home neighbourhoods but are somewhat geographically bound as they cannot yet drive.

METHODS: This research consists of qualitative interviews with 31 children (15 males, 16 females) aged 10-14 years living in socio-economically diverse neighbourhoods across Saskatoon, SK. A thematic analysis was conducted.

RESULTS: Children’s descriptions of what constitutes their neighbourhood FE were varied, ranging from a couple of city blocks to several kilometres from home. Children were familiar with the types of establishment that sell food within their perceived neighbourhood. When children purchased their own food they most frequently cited buying snacks such as ice cream, candy and slushes, and the majority of these purchases were made in convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores. Few children reported frequenting fast-food or other restaurants without adults, and when they did it was usually to buy snacks such as French fries and ice cream rather than meals.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results highlight the importance of interventions targeted to this age group, in which personal food choices were reported almost exclusively as being energy- but not nutrient-dense snack foods.

KEY WORDS

Children environment diet food and nutrition eating 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS : Nous avons cherché à examiner comment les préadolescents et les jeunes adolescents (10–14 ans) vivant dans toutes sortes de quartiers interagissent avec leur environnement alimentaire (EA) local, en insistant sur les aliments et les sources de nourriture auxquels ils ont accès et sur leur emplacement. Les enfants de ce groupe d’âge développent leur indépendance et leur mobilité à l’intérieur (et au-delà) de leur quartier d’attache, mais ils sont un peu circonscrits géographiquement, car ils n’ont pas encore l’âge de conduire.

MÉTHODE : L’étude a comporté des entretiens qualitatifs avec 31 enfants (15 garçons, 16 filles) de 10–14 ans vivant à Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) dans des quartiers diversifiés sur le plan socioéconomique. Nous avons fait l’analyse thématique des entretiens.

RÉSULTATS : Les descriptions par les enfants de ce qui constitue l’EA de leur quartier variaient beaucoup, de quelques pâtés de maisons à plusieurs kilomètres de distance de leur domicile. Les enfants connaissaient bien les types d’établissements qui vendent des aliments dans leur quartier subjectif. Quand les enfants achetaient leurs propres aliments, ils disaient le plus souvent acheter des collations (crème glacée, bonbons, barbotines), et la majorité de ces achats étaient faits dans les dépanneurs, les stations-services et les épiceries. Peu d’enfants disaient fréquenter des rapido-restaurants ou d’autres restaurants sans la présence d’adultes; quand ils le faisaient, c’était habituellement pour acheter des collations comme des frites et de la crème glacée plutôt que des repas.

conclusions : Nos résultats soulignent l’importance des interventions qui ciblent ce groupe d’âge, où les choix alimentaires personnels déclarés sont presque exclusivement des grignotines riches en calories, mais peu nutritives.

MOTS CLÉS

enfant environnement régime alimentaire aliments et nutrition consommation d’aliment 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Engler-Stringer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joelle Schaefer
    • 2
  • Tracy Ridalls
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Community Health and EpidemiologyUniversity of Saskatchewan, Health Science BuildingSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Community Health and EpidemiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research UnitUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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