Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
ISSN (Print): 2333-1119 ISSN (Online): 2333-1240 Website: Editor-in-chief: Prabhat Kumar Mandal
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2016, 4(3), 178-184
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-4-3-8
Open AccessArticle

Nutrition among Adolescent Spaniards: Healthy and Non-healthy Motives of Food Choice

Pedro Canales1 and Asunción Hernández1,

1Marketing Department, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Pub. Date: April 25, 2016

Cite this paper:
Pedro Canales and Asunción Hernández. Nutrition among Adolescent Spaniards: Healthy and Non-healthy Motives of Food Choice. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2016; 4(3):178-184. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-4-3-8


Health is one of the issues which most concern both the general public and institutions. Correct nutrition is a fundamental variable due to its medium and long term effects. The present work focuses on examining the nutrition among adolescent Spaniards, especially the healthy and non-healthy motives of food choice, as well as the effect of this choice on future health problems. In order to confirm the Food Choice Questionnaire's (FCQ) applicability to the sample of young people polled, and examine the possible differences related to the socio-demographic and anthropometric variables (weight and height (BMI)), a two phase methodology was used (Principal Component Factor Analysis (PCFA); ANOVA, t-test, Pearson Chi-Square). Selection of the respondents has been carried out with multistage random sampling in two stages, stratified and cluster, taking into account the type of high school (public or private). The sample was composed of 590 pupils from different high schools in the city of Valencia (Spain), aged between 13 to 18 years old. Our findings show that Spaniards young people choose their food in terms of the sensory aspects and price, without concerning themselves with the effects that their eating habits may have on their weight. Moreover, the findings showed significant differences taking into account gender of the participants and the type of high school they attend. In all the socio-demographic groups studied, the aspects related to the senses are the most important factor in the food choice. The least important factor is related to ethical characteristics of the food producers.

nutrition motives adolescent Spaniard food choice overweight public and private high schools gender

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Saba. A., Vassallo, M., Shepherd, R., Lampilla, R., Arvola, A., Dean, M., Winkelmann, M., Claupein, E. and Lahteenmaki, L., “Country-wise differences in perception of health-related messages in cereal-based food products”, Food Quality and Preference, 21, 385-393, 2010.
[2]  Carrillo, E., Varela, P., Salvador, A. and Fiszman, S.,Main factors underlying consumers’ food choice: a First step for the understanding of attitudes toward healthy eating”, Journal of sensory studies, 26, 85-95, 2011.
[3]  Palenzuela, S., Pérez, A., Pérula, L.., Fernández, J. and Maldonado, J., “La alimentación en la adolescencias”, Análisis del Sistema Sanitario Navarro, 37, 47-58, 2014.
[4]  Sánchez-Cruz, J.J., Jiménez-Monleón, J.J., Fernández-Quesada, F. and Sánchez, M.J., “Prevalencia de la obesidad infantil y juvenil en España en 2012”, Revista Española de Cardiologia, 66, 371-376, 2013.
[5]  Steptoe, A., Pollard, T. and Wardle, J., “Development of a Measure of the Motives Underlying the Selection of Food: the Food Choice Questionnarie”, Appetite, 25, 267-284, 1995.
[6]  Fotopoulos, C., Krystallis, A., Vassalla, M. and Pagiaslis, A., “Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ) revisited Suggestions for the development of an enhanced food motivation model”, Appetite, 52, 199-208, 2009.
[7]  Medina, F., Aguilar, A. and Solé-Sedeño, J., “Aspectos sociales y culturales sobre la obesidad: reflexiones necesarias desde la salud pública”, Nutrición clínica y dietética hospitalaria, 34, 67-71. 2014.
[8]  García, E., Vázquez, M., Galera, R., Alias, I., Martín, M., Bonillo, A., Cabrera, J.A., García, I., Gómez, S. and López, E., “Prevalencia de sobrepeso y obesidad en niños y adolescentes de 2 a 16 años”. Endocrinología Nutricional, 60, 121-126, 2013.
[9]  Januszewska, R., Pieniak, Z. and Verbeke, W., “Food choice questionnaire revisited in four countries Does it still measure the same?”, Appetite, 57, 94-98. 2011.
[10]  Foz, M., “Estado de salud y sobrepeso en la edad avanzada”, Alimentación, Nutrición y Salud, 16, 61-70, 2009.
[11]  Aranceta, J., Pérez, C., Serra, L, Ribas, L., Quiles, J., Vioque, J., Tur, J., Mataix, J., Llopis, J., Tojo, R. and Foz, M.,Prevalencia de la obesidad en España: resultados del estudio SEEDO 2000”, Medicina Clinica, 120, 608-612, 2009.
[12]  Stein, C. and Colditz, G., “The Epidemic of Obesity”, Journal Clinical Endocrinoy andl Metabolism, 89, 2522-2525. 2004.
[13]  Milosevic, J., Zezelj, I., Gorton, M. and Barjolle, D., “Understanding the motives for food choice in Western Balkan Countries”, Appetite, 58, 205-214, 2012.
[14]  Álvarez, M., Villarino, A., Alcón, R., Purón, M. and Serrano, M., “Childhood obesity in Spain: to what extent is a public health problem or about the reliability of the polls”, Nutrición clínica y dietetica hospitalaria, 33, 80-88, 2013.
[15]  Calañas-Contienente, A., Arrizabalaga, J., Caixàs, A. and Cordido, F., “Recomendaciones diagnósticas y terapéuticas en el sobrepeso y la obesidad durante la adolescencia,. Medicina Clínica, 135, 265-273, 2010.
[16]  Share, M. and Stewart-Knox, B., “Determinants of food choice in Irish adolescents”, Food Quality and Preference, 25, 57-62, 2012.
[17]  Pigford, T., Raciti, M., Harker, D. and Harker, M., “Young adults´ food motives: an Australian social marketing perspective”, Young Consumers, 9, 17-28, 2008.
[18]  Posso, M., Brugulat-Guiteras, P., Puig, T., Mompart-Penina, A., Medina-Bustos, A., Alcañiz, M., Guillén, M. and Tresserras-Gaju, R., “Prevalencia y condiciones de la obesidad en la población infantojuvenil de Cataluña 2006-2012”, Medicina Clínica, 143, 475-48,. 2014.
[19]  Hair, J., Black, W., Babin. B., Anderson, R. and Tatham, R., Multivariate data analysis. Pearson Education Inc., New Jersey, 2006.
[20]  Eertmans, A., Victoir, A., Notelaers, G., Vansant, G. and Van den Bertg, O., “The food choice questionnaire Factorial invariant over western urban populations?”, Food Quality Preference, 17, 344-352, 2006.
[21]  Serra, L., Ribas, L., Aranceta, J., Pérez, C., Saavedra, P. and Peña, L., “Obesidad infantil y juvenil en España Resultados del estudio enKid (1998-2000)”,. Medicina Clínica, 121, 725-732, 2003.
[22]  Amin, T., Al-Sultan, A. and Ali, A., “Overweight and obesity and their relation to dietary habits and socio-demographic characteristics among male primary school children in Al-Hasa Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, European Journal of Nutrition, 47, 310-318, 2008.
[23]  Wojciki, J. and Heyman, M., “Reducing Childhood Obesity by Eliminating 100% Fruit Juice”, American Journal of Public Health, 102, 1630-1633, 2012.
[24]  Kruger, A., Reither, E., Peppard, P., Krueger, P. and Hale, L., “Do sleep-deprived adolescents make less-healthy food choices?”, Britihs Journal of Nutrition, 111, 1898-1904,2014.
[25]  Konttinen, H., Sarlio-Lähteenkorva, S., Silventoinen, K. and Männistö, S., “Socio-economic disparities in the consumption of vegetables fruit and energy-dense foods: the role of motive priorities”, Public Health Nutitrition, 16, 873-882, 2012.
[26]  Chen, M., “The gender gap in food choice motives as determinants of consumers´ attitudes toward GM foods in Taiwan”, Britihs Journal Nutrition, 113, 697-709, 2011.