Food safety is a key determinant of fruit and vegetable consumption in urban Beninese adolescents

E.S. Nago, R. Verstraeten, C.K. Lachat, R.A. Dossa, P.W. Kolsteren

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    OBJECTIVE: To identify the determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption in urban Beninese adolescents and elements to develop a school-based fruit and vegetable program. DESIGN: Sixteen focus groups conducted with a key word guide. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Two private and 2 public secondary schools in Cotonou, Benin. One hundred fifty-three students aged 13 to 19 years, 54% girls. ANALYSIS: The focus groups were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed. Three a priori categories from the Social Cognitive Theory were used for the coding: socioenvironmental, personal, and behavioral factors. Additionally, the data were checcked to determine whether new categories should be created. RESULTS: Major determinants in the school were availability and accessibility of fruits and vegetables, nutrition education, and the competition of unhealthful foods. Food safety emerged as a strong barrier to the adolescents' fruit and vegetable consumption outside home and particularly at school. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Except for food safety, the determinants of fruit and vegetable intake in Beninese adolescents were similar to those in high-income countries. The food safety of fruits and vegetables outside home is a key issue to be studied in detail and integrated in any intervention in Benin and potentially other low- and middle-income countries.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)548-555
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Nutrition status
    • Food consumption
    • Nutrition behavior
    • Fruit
    • Vegetables
    • Determinants
    • Adolescents
    • Schools
    • Control programs
    • Availability
    • Accessibility
    • Nutrition education
    • Food safety
    • Urban
    • Benin
    • Africa-West


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