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To explore adolescents' views about the foods they consume and to identify their ideas about strategies to encourage healthier eating habits.
Individual questionnaires based on open-ended questions and group discussions (6-8 participants) were used to address the objectives. Data were analyzed using content analysis based on deductive-inductive coding.
Montevideo and its metropolitan area (Uruguay, Latin America).
102 adolescents (aged between 11 and 15 years old, 52% female) recruited at two educational institutions.
Adolescents reported frequently consuming ultra-processed products and fast food although they were perceived as bad for their health, whereas they reported an infrequent consumption of fruits and vegetables. Multifaceted strategies to promote healthy eating habits emerged from adolescents' accounts, including public awareness campaigns, nutrition education programs, nutrition label standards and regulations, and changes in food availability and affordability.
Results from the present work suggest that co-creation with adolescents may be an effective way to inform the development of strategies to promote healthier eating habits. The strategies suggested by adolescents were mainly focused on behaviour change communication, who emphasized the importance of social media and the involvement of celebrities and influencers. The need for educational and communication strategies to raise awareness of the social and environmental drivers of eating patterns among adolescents was identified.
To explore Uruguayan paediatricians’ personal recommendations about complementary feeding and to assess if they are aligned with current guidelines and scientific evidence.
A questionnaire composed of open-ended questions was used to explore foods recommended to start complementary feeding, foods regarded as the most important during the first meals, recommendations for delayed introduction of foods and foods that should be avoided. Reasons underlying the recommendations were also explored.
Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay (Latin America).
A total of 212 paediatricians were recruited during a National Pediatrics Conference, organised by the Uruguayan Society of Pediatrics.
The recommendations about complementary feeding provided by paediatricians to parents and caregivers in Uruguay seemed not to be fully aligned with the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health. Paediatricians recommend a rigid food introduction sequence, characterised by the early introduction of soft pureed vegetables and fruits, followed by meat and the delayed introduction of allergenic foods. Food diversity and the concept of ultra-processed were not frequently identified in the responses.
Results stress the importance of developing educational and communication approaches targeted at paediatricians to contribute to the uptake of updated recommendations regarding complementary feeding.
The information displayed on the packages of feeding bottles and teats commercialised in Montevideo (Uruguay) was analysed using content analysis with the goal of identifying key marketing practices that may discourage breast-feeding.
The study was conducted as part of the periodic assessment performed by the Uruguayan government to monitor the marketing of breast milk substitutes. All the feeding bottles and teats sold in forty-four retail outlets selling breast milk substitutes were purchased. The information available on the packages was analysed using content analysis and descriptive statistics.
A total of 197 feeding bottles and 71 teats were found. The majority of the packages included information to enable caregivers to adequately use the products, including recommended age, instructions on how to use the products and instructions on the use of hygienic practices. However, the packages frequently included information that implied that bottle feeding was equivalent to breast-feeding, particularly from a physiological perspective, or that idealised product use. Idealisations included ability to reduce colic, improvements in the feeding experience and improvements in children’s health, well-being and development. Statements on the superiority of breast-feeding were infrequent.
The results from the present work showed the high prevalence of marketing practices on the packages of feeding bottles and teats that may discourage breast-feeding. Stricter and more detailed regulations seem necessary to enable caregivers to make informed feeding decisions for infants.
The current study aimed to assess Uruguayan consumers’ accounts of their own need to change their dietary patterns, their intended changes and the barriers related to doing so, and to compare the intentions and barriers with the recommendations of the national dietary guidelines.
An online survey with 2381 Uruguayan employed adults, aged between 18 and 65 years, 65 % females, was conducted. Participants had to answer two open-ended questions related to changes they could make in the foods they eat and/or the way in which they eat to improve the quality of their diet and the reasons why they had not implemented those changes yet. Content analysis using inductive coding by two researchers was used to analyse the responses.
Consumers mainly intended to change consumption of types of foods, particularly eating more fruits, vegetables and legumes and consuming less flour, but also intended to alter their eating patterns. Lack of time and the fact that healthy foods are perceived as being more expensive than unhealthy foods were major barriers to behaviour change. Some of the recommendations of the dietary guidelines, particularly those related to enjoying cooking and meals and engaging in it as a social activity, were not represented in consumer accounts.
Accompanying policies to the dietary guidelines need to underline the importance of changes in dietary patterns, including greater enjoyment and sharing food preparation and meals in the company with others, address misconceptions about flour, and provide concrete, consumer-derived recommendations on how to enact the guidelines.
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