Influencing Factors for Eating Behavior in Adolescent Population UK

Answer :

Introduction to the Factors

Eating behavior or habits of adolescent is changing day by day due to the changes in life style and different other attributes. Frequent changes in eating behavior has positive and negative impact on physical and mental health of teenagers (Rosen, 2013). It is one of the major health issue for UK, So, author wants to determine different factors which can influence the eating behavior of teenagers of UK. Regarding this, author will follow a systematic process that includes literature review, research methodology and data analysis. It will help in resolving research issues and attaining all objectives in effective manner.

Research methodology with justification

Research philosophy

Research philosophy has defined assumptions of the researcher to understand the research problems. It has provided the border framework to investigator of investigation and include various hypothesis (Ponterotto, 2005). It has two types: interpretivism and positivism. In positivism, the outcomes of investigation has identified with the help of statistical method. In this philosophy, the objectives of the research has to collect the data and generate the outcomes with the intention of achieve research objectives and aim (Broad, 2014). On the other hand, in the case of interpretivism, the various beliefs has developed by investigator which justify the reasons of conducting the research. The aim of following research is analyse the factors influencing eating behaviour of adolescent population in UK (Knobe and Nichols, 2013). For this, the researcher has been selected positivism research philosophy because has helped out the scholar to get more information about the nature of teenagers towards eating behaviour.

Research Design

Research design is a kind of strategy used by a researcher to interlink the different elements of research in logical form (Creswell, 2012). For this, it has needed to understand the investigation issue in right manner. Descriptive and exploratory are the two types of research design. Descriptive framework is used to represent those factors which are directly link to the research. The structure of such type of investigation is more structured as compare to exploratory (Creswell, 2013). On the other side, exploratory research design has followed in that case when it is difficult to understand the research problem. The current investigation has related to analyse the factors influencing eating behaviour of adolescent population in UK (Maxwell, 2012). The research has been chosen descriptive research design because it has helped the scholar to understand the various kinds of eating behaviour of teenagers and their impacts on health.

Research approach

Research approach is a method of generating a new theory or hypothesis which increase the understanding of the investigator towards the research. Inductive and deductive are two kinds of research approaches. Deductive framework has used existing hypothesis to evaluate the research problem (Kress and Shoffner, 2007). Quantitative research method has used to test already developed theory. But, in inductive research approach, the researcher has developed new hypothesis on the basis of available information. Under this method, the investigator has used qualitative research technique to collect the data. In the case of present research, the scholar has been selected inductive research design (Obenour, Patterson and, 2006). The reason of selecting this framework is evolving the theories related to eating behaviour of adolescent and factors associated with it.

Research strategy

Research strategy is a kind of framework which provide the logical approach for gaining information of research problem (Clarke, Dede, Ketelhut and, 2006). Quantitative and qualitative are part of research strategy. The present research has related to analyse the factors influencing eating behaviour of adolescent population in UK. In this regards, the investigator has been selected both qualitative and quantitative research strategy. Qualitative method has delivered the information regarding factor influencing eating behaviour of adolescents of London, UK (Tunis, 2005). Along with this, quantitative research strategy has used for investigate the observable phenomenon which helped in achieve the expected outcomes and meet the objectives of research in right manner.

Data Collection method

Data collection method is used to gather the information from diversified sources with the purpose of achieve the objectives and aim of investigation in appropriate manner. There are two methods of data collection: primary and secondary (De Leeuw, 2005). Primary data collection has done by investigator itself without adopting any kind of statistical method. The sources that can be used by researcher for primary data collection are interviews, observation, discussion, surveys etc. Beside this, secondary data collection has different from primary data gathering technique. Under this method, the scholar has collected those information which has been already done by other researchers in previous time (Yu, De Courten and, 2009). The information sources for gather second-rate data collection are newspapers, previous research, articles, e-books etc. The following research has related to analyse the factors influencing eating behaviour of adolescent population in UK. In this context, both primary and secondary data collection method has been selected by researcher to know about eating habits and factors influencing eating behaviour of adolescents. For collecting primary information, the researcher has been prepared questionnaire which has been filled by parents of adolescent of London, UK (Thornicroft, 2012). Along with this, for gathering secondary information, the investigator has been selected various source of information such as past researches, articles, books, journals, government source of information etc.


Sampling is a technique of selecting number respondents from the present population at the time of collecting the data. Probabilistic and non-probabilistic are two types of sampling. The present research has related to analyse the factors influencing eating behaviour of adolescent population in UK (Cochran, 2007). Non-probabilistic sampling technique has been selected by researcher while choosing parents of teenagers for survey. Along with this, convenience sampling has been also picked by scholar for selecting them who are participating in research. The sample population for conducting the investigation has been parent population of London, UK and it has included both male and female (Lohr, 2009). The number of sample size for present research has 40.

Data analysis

Data analysis is a technique of applying different types of statistical and logical methods of evaluating the collected data. It has not only answer the research questions but also provide a guidance to investigator about gathering of information and data from diversified resources (Hair, Black and, 2006). With the help of numerous data analysis techniques, the researcher has able to transformed the data into knowledge as well as show the relationship between the different elements of investigation (Agresti and Kateri, 2011). There are two method of data analysis: thematic and statistical techniques. Under thematic approach, the research has developed some themes on the basis of prepared questionnaire. With the help of this, the responses of respondents can be easily evaluate. On the other hand, statistical technique has used evaluate the collected numerical data base and reach at new conclusion. The current research has based on factors influencing eating behaviour of adolescent population in UK (Bendat and Piersol, 2011). For this, the researcher has been selected statistical technique where SPSS tool has been used for analysing quantitative data in right and accurate manner.

Ethical consideration

Ethical consideration is playing an important role in research because it has provided a complete new direction to the investigation. The present research has related to analyse the factors influencing eating behaviour of adolescent population in UK. In this regards, the major ethical considerations are as follows.

Security and privacy of information: During conducting the research, the scholar has collected the data from parents of adolescent in London, UK. At this time, many of the respondents has refused to give their personal information because they have feared that their personal information may be used scholar for personal benefits or another purpose (Khanlou and Peter, 2005). To overcome this situation, the investigator has given assurance to respondents that their personal information will not be leaked and not used for personal benefits. It must be safe and confidential as well as not share will external or third parties.

Prior approval: At the time of research, the scholar has required to get the information from government sources about factors affecting eating behaviour of adolescents of UK. For this, the researcher has taken prior approval from London Government to avoid any kind of controversial situation (Miller, Birch, Mauthner and Jessop, 2012). Along with this, the scholar has given assurance to keep the information secure and safe.

Provide citation to the work of research: During the investigation, the researcher has faced plagiarism issues. To reduce the chances of copy and paste situation, the researcher has been provided citation of the work (Pepper and Wildy, 2009).

Research limitation

Every type of research has some limitations and it has created the issues for researchers while conducting the investigation. The following research has related to analyse the factors influencing eating behaviour of adolescent population in UK. In this situation, there are some research limitations which are as follows.

Time consuming: The present research has taken very long time to complete it because there are lots of activities have been carried out investigator. Therefore, for this, the researcher have been used time based method where a Gantt chart has developed for divided the time durations for all activities (Denscombe, 2014).

Sampling error: The researcher has selected non-probabilistic sampling method to meet the objectives and aim of investigation. But, the researcher has not sure that the every parent has included in the research or not. It has created the sampling error which may affect the entire research work (Flick, 2009). To solve this issue, the scholar has given unique code number to all respondents and ensure that parents of UK has taken part into investigation.

Lack of secondary information: the present research has related to analyse the factors influencing eating behaviour of adolescent population in UK. The researcher has faced the limitations regarding lack of secondary information. There are less number of previous researches and journals has available on internet (Ponterotto, 2005). To resolve this issue, the investigator has adopted the primary data collection method to make the research more effective.

Factors influencing eating behavioural

Michels and, 2012, has concluded that “Eating behaviour of the adolescents are influenced by various factors which includes parental care, food availability, preferences of food, price, social and cultural beliefs, image of body and many more” (Michels and, 2012).

According to the investigations of the various authors, it has been evaluated that it is a very difficult task to determine the factors influencing the eating behaviour of the UK teenagers. The Various investigators have their own views on the factors which are influencing the eating behaviour of the UK adolescents. These factors along with the views of researchers are explained below.

Age, Income and Race:

Keeland Forney, 2013, has found that “Eating behaviour of the teenagers are influenced by their age, income and race.” (Keeland Forney, 2013). With respect to this statement Jessor, 2013, has identified in his research that “At the age of 14-18 female teenagers starts consuming soda more as compare to the fruits and dairy products” (Jessor, 2013). In continue to it, he further explain that quality of diets decreases from childhood to adolescents which results to cause various diseases and disorders. On the other hand Bulik and, 2014, has given more emphasis to the income and stated that “The families having good income provide quality food to their children which includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy products.” (Bulik and, 2014). In context to the race and ethical groups DiClemente, Hansen and Ponton, 2013, has explained that “White teenagers consume food whole grains and total grain more whereas black teenagers consumes green leafy vegetables” (DiClemente, Hansen and Ponton, 2013).

Personal Factors:

Adriaanse, de Ridder and Evers, 2011, has asserted that “Eating behaviour is influenced by personal factors of the teenagers which includes their attitude, beliefs, food preferences, self-efficacy and biological changes” (Adriaanse, de Ridder and Evers, 2011). In context to this Young and, 2013, has demonstrated that “Adolescents needs to eat meal early in the morning in the form of breakfast for improving their diet” (Young and, 2013). By giving more emphasis to the food preferences. Ferreiro, Seoane and Senra, 2011, has concluded that “Food preferences of the teenagers depends upon its quality, taste, pleasure and satisfaction. Among all of these taste plays the most important role while deciding the food items as it increases the frequency of eating particular food” (Ferreiro, Seoane and Senra, 2011).

Economic Factors:

Elbel, Gyamfi and Kersh, 2011, has asserted that “Economic factors such as price, quality of food, brad name, special offers affects the eating behaviour of the teenagers” (Elbel, Gyamfi and Kersh, 2011). As per this statement Keeland Forney, 2013, has concluded that “Adolescents like to purchase though food items which have some offers or discounts. They does not prefer quality of food at the time of special offers” (Keeland Forney, 2013). On the other hand Bulik and, 2014, has suggested that “Pound factor plays crucial role among the adolescents of UK during the time of buying any food item” (Bulik and, 2014). Similarly Coates, Petersen and Perry, 2013, has said that “Teenagers of the UK likes to eat fast food more due to their low price” (Coates, Petersen and Perry, 2013). In contrary to this statement Strasburger, 2011, has argued that “Some of the UK teenagers does not like to visit hotels, restaurants, etc due to the high rates of milk, fruits and salads. They like to eat them at home with family” (Strasburger, 2011).

Environmental Factors:

Story and Stang, 2016, has stated that “Environmental factors such as families, friends, peers, fast food outlets, social and cultural beliefs, schools, neighbours also plays essential role in influencing the teenagers” (Story and Stang, 2016). With respect to this Paul and, 2014,has concluded that “The environmental factors are divided into two parts micro-environmental such as food trends, cultural groups, school meals, etc and immediate social environment such as family, parenting practices, etc ” (Paul and, 2014). Covey, 2011, has demonstrated that “Attractive food outlets at the time of any occasion or activities in schools encourage teenagers to buy those food products” (Covey, 2011). Similarly van’t Riet and, 2011, has said that “The food items uses by the schools, colleges and other communities are of poor quality which affects the health of teenagers” (van’t Riet and, 2011). On the other hand Jessor, 2013, has concluded that “Meal with the parents and other family members results to improve the eating habits of the immature teenagers” (Jessor, 2013). In favour to this Boyland and Halford, 2013, has explained that “Eating in the presence of parents results to nutritious and full of quality diet which impacts positively in the development of their children” (Boyland and Halford, 2013).

Ways for improving eating behaviour

It is important to improve the eating habits of the teenagers for healthy diet and proper development. In context to this Michels and, 2012, has said that “Adolescents of UK takes sandwiches, cheese, fruits, crackers and leftovers in their breakfasts which keep them healthy and energetic” (Michels and, 2012). Similarly Adriaanse, de Ridder and Evers, 2011, has identified that “Parents can teach adolescents to cook simple and nutrient snacks and meals at the time of eating alone so that they cannot buy any unhealthy food product” (Adriaanse, de Ridder,. and Evers, 2011). Along with this Elbel, Gyamfi and Kersh, 2011, has said that “It is also essential for parents to teach their children about the quality of food so that they can select wisely at the time of purchasing foods from the stores or eating at fast food restaurants” (Elbel, Gyamfi and Kersh, 2011). In addition to this, he further stated that mother can explain type and quality of food products by using appropriate examples (The positive influence of family meals on children's food choices. 2016).

In oppose to the above statements DiClemente, Hansen and Ponton, 2013, has said that “Government and local politicians should limit the building of fast food stores and restaurants close to the schools and other serving centres” (DiClemente, Hansen and Ponton, 2013). Similarly Kaplan, and Garfinkel, 2013, has stated that “Government can run various campaigns for encouraging parents and teachers to improve the eating habits of teenagers by using various means ” (Kaplan, and Garfinkel, 2013).

The reason behind conducting literature review for the eating habits of adolescents is to find out the appropriate factors which are influencing their health. Through this, researcher can able to find out the types of positive and negative impacts of eating habits over the health of the teenagers.


It is concluded from the above investigation that eating behaviour plays essential role in the development of the teenagers. Through this study, researcher focus on the different types of the eating behaviour, factors influencing the eating habits of the adolescents and appropriate recommendations for improving them.


  • Adriaanse, M.A., de Ridder, D.T. and Evers, C., 2011. Emotional eating: Eating when emotional or emotional about eating?.Psychology and Health.
  • Agresti, A. and Kateri, M., 2011.Categorical data analysis. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  • Bendat, J.S. and Piersol, A.G., 2011.Random data: analysis and measurement procedures. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Benowitz-Fredericks, C.A. and, 2012. Body image, eating disorders, and the relationship to adolescent media use.Pediatric Clinics of North America.
  • Boyland, E.J. and Halford, J.C., 2013. Television advertising and branding. Effects on eating behaviour and food preferences in children.
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