Predisposing, facilitating and reinforcing factors of healthy and unhealthy food consumption in schoolchildren: a study in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Charles Daboné, Hélène Delisle, Olivier Receveur
Global Health Promotion 2013, 20 (1): 68-77

OBJECTIVE: African schoolchildren's dietary habits are likely changing in the realm of the nutrition transition, particularly in urban areas, but data on their diet and on determinants are scanty. In order to design relevant interventions for this priority target group, the study aimed to assess food habits and their determinants in schoolchildren of Ouagadougou.

METHODS: In a cross-sectional survey, fifth-grade schoolchildren filled during school hours a questionnaire to assess consumption frequency of 'healthy' foods (fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, legumes) and 'unhealthy' (superfluous) items (cake, cookies, candies, ice, soda) and underlying factors, using Green's PRECEDE model.

RESULTS: The study included 769 schoolchildren, mean age 11.7 ± 1.4 years, from eight public and four private schools. Consumption scores of unhealthy items were significantly higher than healthy foods (p = 0.001). During the week prior to the survey, 25% of children had eaten no fruit, 20% no meat, 20% no legumes, 17% no fish and 17% no vegetables. While less than 4% ate fruits or vegetables every day, 18.3% ate ice pop every day. Children eating cookies, cakes and candy every day were up to seven-fold those eating fruits, vegetables or legumes. Compared to public-school pupils, those from private schools consumed both healthy and unhealthy items more frequently (p = 0.002 and p = 0.007, respectively). Urban schoolchildren had significantly higher unhealthy food scores (p = 0.027) compared to peri-urban schools. Children's healthy and unhealthy food consumption was primarily explained by perceived decisional power and availability [facilitating factors] for both types of foods, and maternal reinforcement for healthy foods and peers' reinforcement for consumption of unhealthy items. Overall, facilitating factors rated higher for unhealthy than healthy foods.

CONCLUSION: The study showed that city schoolchildren's eating behaviours are far from optimal. Nutrition interventions should be tailored to address the underlying factors in order to impact on behaviours, thereby preventing both dietary inadequacies and excess.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"