Friday, 19 July 2024

Factors behind healthy snack consumption at school among high-school students: a qualitative study

healthy snack consumption

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The prevalence of consuming fast foods and non-nutritious snacks is progressively increasing among adolescents. This study aimed to explore factors behind snack consumption at school among Iranian high-school students.


This descriptive qualitative study was conducted in 2017 in four boys’ and four girls’ high-schools located in Isfahan, Khorramabad, and Tehran, Iran. Data were collected through 42 in-depth semi-structured interviews and four focus groups with male and female students, their parents, and their school teachers and administrators. The conventional content analysis approach was used for data analysis. Trustworthiness was applied to the study through prolonged engagement, maximum variation sampling, and member checking techniques.


Factors behind students’ snack consumption came into two main groups, namely influential behaviors, and influential emotions and perceptions. Influential behaviors included the behaviors of students, their family members, peers, school administrators, and snack sellers. Moreover, influential emotions and perceptions included positive and negative feelings towards healthy kushiebites, fear over the consequences of unhealthy snacks, and perceived positive outcomes of healthy snacks.


Students’ snack consumption at school is affected not only by their own behaviors, emotions, and perceptions, but also by significant others’ behaviors and environmental factors. School administrators need to make environmental modifications to turn school environment into a pleasant place for healthy snack consumption and make healthy snack consumption a pleasurable experience for students.

Mathilda Clark

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