Correlates of food choice in unemployed young people: The role of demographic factors, self-efficacy, food involvement, food poverty and physical activity

Jenny Davison, Michelle Share, Marita Hennessy, Brendan Bunting, Jerko Markovina, Barbara J. Knox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Associations between socio-demographic and psychological factors and food choice patterns were explored in unemployed young people who constitute a vulnerable group at risk of poor dietary health.
Volunteers (N = 168), male (n = 97) and female (n = 71), aged 15–25 years were recruited through United Kingdom (UK) community-based organisations serving young people not in education training or employment (NEET). Survey questionnaire enquired on food poverty, physical activity and measured
responses to the Food Involvement Scale (FIS), Food Self-Efficacy Scale (FSS) and a 19-item Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). A path analysis was undertaken to explore associations between age, gender, food poverty, age at leaving school, food self-efficacy (FS-E), food involvement (FI) (kitchen; uninvolved;
enjoyment), physical activity and the four food choice patterns (junk food; healthy; fast food; high fat). FS-E was strong in the model and increased with age. FS-E was positively associated with more frequent choice of healthy food and less frequent junk or high fat food (having controlled for age, gender
and age at leaving school). FI (kitchen and enjoyment) increased with age. Higher FI (kitchen) was associated with less frequent junk food and fast food choice. Being uninvolved with food was associated with more frequent fast food choice. Those who left school after the age of 16 years reported more frequent
physical activity. Of the indirect effects, younger individuals had lower FI (kitchen) which led to frequent junk and fast food choice. Females who were older had higher FI (enjoyment) which led to less frequent fast food choice. Those who had left school before the age of 16 had low food involvement (uninvolved) which led to frequent junk food choice. Multiple indices implied that data were a good fit to the model which indicated a need to enhance food self-efficacy and encourage food involvement in order to improve dietary health among these disadvantaged young people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-47
Number of pages7
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume46
Early online date23 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

Keywords

  • Young people
  • NEET
  • Survey
  • Path analysis
  • Food choice
  • FFQ
  • Self efficacy
  • Food involvement
  • food poverty

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