Navigation Links
Social background weighs heavily on teenage diet
Date:9/24/2009

Teenagers' attitudes to diet and weight are shaped by their social class, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Policymakers have long insisted on the importance of understanding young people's health and eating habits but this is the first study to show how everyday practices and perceptions of different social classes contribute to variation in the diet, weight and health of teenagers.

'It is evident that children are moulded according to their parents' expectations about behaviour,' says Dr Wendy Wills of the University of Hertfordshire, who led the research. The study reveals the ideals and beliefs of both family life and parenting by looking at the diet, weight and health of middle class teenagers, their parents and comparing them with an earlier study of working class families.

Middle class families look towards their children's future, expecting young teenagers' tastes to develop and have a good body shape to actively participate in adult life. Parents expressed concern that if children were overweight they would have poor health in later life. They also felt that being overweight would affect the children's self-esteem and ability to take part in life's opportunities.

In working class families, concern for the future is dominated by more pressing concerns about everyday life. 'In the context of risk and insecurity for working class families, the ideal body shape has little value,' says Dr Wills.

Although working class families express the desire to improve the diet and lifestyle of their children, they sometimes lack the social and cultural abilities as well as money to make such changes happen.

At the same time, the independence of teenagers to make their own food choices and take responsibility for their health is seen as an important sign of being working class. This contrasts with middle class families where parents supervise and control young teenagers' food choices on a daily basis.

Middle class teenagers saw obesity as the result of being lazy, unhealthy or unable to control a desire for 'bad foods'. Middle class parents feel a moral urgency to ensure their children to stay an 'acceptable' size. Being seen to be 'respectable' in this regard is a significant sign of middle class distinctions.

The findings of the study have proved important for understanding why inequalities in diet, health and weight continue to persist. NHS Health Scotland have used to them to help Health Boards implement child healthy weight initiatives and the Department of Health's new Healthy Living social marketing initiative also uses the project's research.

However, policymakers should not expect quick results, the study warns. 'Given the complex, embedded nature of familiar practices and beliefs,' says Dr Wills, 'policy and practice targets need to be realistic in terms of the timescale needed for achieving change.'


'/>"/>

Contact: Danielle Moore
danielle.moore@esrc.ac.uk
44-179-341-3122
Economic & Social Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Dow Jones Sustainability Index Again Recognizes Abbott for Continued Leadership in Business, Environmental and Social Performance
2. Cognitive Activities Protect Against Alzheimers -- Social and Physical Activities Not Enough
3. MJGC Welcomes New Director of Social Work Alla Lerner
4. Civil Rights and Medical Leaders Call for Social Justice in Health Care
5. Multicountry review shows that Bug Buster Kits reduce head lice and social stigma
6. Hartford Foundation awards grant to address geriatric social work shortage
7. Study to consider social risk in guiding prevention of heart disease
8. IOM advisory: improving cancer patients psychosocial care
9. Cancer care providers need to proactively address patients psychological and social needs
10. Penn wins $5M to start center for ethical, legal and social implications research
11. Social Justice Issues Take Main Stage at Egypts National Democratic Party Convention
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health and Nutrition Company, is announcing the ... spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing CBD market by reducing the amount ... into liquid products, while reducing costs to end users. , The team of researchers ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association ... Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this ... health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader ... been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). ... the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one ... U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at ... former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Maryland (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... magnetic drug delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of ... can lead to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium , ... File solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files ... , NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected ... programs and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European ... platform to increase transparency to enable greater collaboration ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ANN ARBOR, Mich. , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical ... the precise destruction of targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... Josh Stopek, PhD ... ... Veteran medical device executive ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... Sept. 12, 2017   EcoVadis , the leading platform for environmental, ... first annual edition of its Global CSR Risk and Performance Index. The ... EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings that analyzed nearly 800,000 data points across ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: