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Journal cover: Health Education

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Online from: 1992

Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare

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An exploratory study of eating patterns of Singapore children and teenagers

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Title:An exploratory study of eating patterns of Singapore children and teenagers
Author(s):Kai Ling Ang, (Kai Ling Ang is Assistant Professor, Science and Technology Education Programme National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.), Schubert Foo, (Schubert Foo is Associate Professor, Division of Information Studies, School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.)
Citation:Kai Ling Ang, Schubert Foo, (2002) "An exploratory study of eating patterns of Singapore children and teenagers", Health Education, Vol. 102 Iss: 5, pp.239 - 248
Keywords:Children, Nutrition, Singapore, Young people
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09654280210444119 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Presents a first attempt to investigate eating patterns in children in Singapore in terms of frequency, sources and types of food, with specific emphasis on eating outside the home. Two sets of data were collected. A guided questionnaire was administered to adults accompanying the pre-school age children and young people at various eating outlets, hawker centres, food courts and fast food outlets. All 198 transcripts were usable. Overall, 19 per cent of those interviewed ate out five to seven times a week. The two most common reasons given for this were “convenience” (65, 33 per cent), and “nobody prepares home-cooked meals” (62, 31 per cent). “Convenience” was most common among pre-school (29, 48 per cent) and teenaged (27, 42 per cent) children, whereas “nobody cooks at home” (31, 43 per cent) was most common in school-age children. Few boys said that they ate fruit or vegetables. This picture is in keeping with the pattern among Singaporean adults and may contribute to the high rate of obesity that increases risk of adult diseases. Research is needed to confirm these findings and to investigate the social influences on eating patterns with a view to designing effective nutrition/health education that can effect behavioural change.

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