[Street food among children: a study in north Tunisia]

Auteur(s) :
Neffati L., Ridha H., Kolsteren P., Hilderbrand K.
Date :
Jan, 2004
Source(s) :
SANTE. #14:1 p43-48
Adresse :
Hopital Regional de Sejnane, Tunisia.

Sommaire de l'article

As urbanization increases in Tunisia, eating meals outside the home is becoming more frequent. Children are prime consumers for the fast food sold in the streets. Neither their nor their parents' attitude towards street food is well documented as yet. This study was conducted in the city of Bizerte in February 1998. Its aim was to gather information about street food and parents' and children's attitudes towards it to help organize educational sessions with the children, parents, teachers, and vendors. The study interviewed 421 primary school children, ranging in age from 6 to 15 years (mean age: 10 years), from 24 schools. Half received pocket money, a percentage that did not differ by sex. Three quarters of the children used more than 75% of their pocket money to buy street food. The items bought most frequently were candy (27.2%), sandwiches (23.9%), pastries (23.9%), sunflower seeds and peanuts (21%), and either pizza, chocolate, or cheese (20.3%); the largest proportion of money was spent on sandwiches. In more than half the cases (55.7% of the children), the main motivation for buying street food was either to replace or fill out a meal at home, with sandwiches or pastries. The parents' monthly income did not influence the children's purchasing behavior, but the rhythm of receiving pocket money did. Most children were satisfied with the nutritional and hygienic quality of the food available, but their opinion of this quality as well as the reasons for buying the food and the prices spent on it differed considerably from that of their parents. This study highlights the important role of street foods in the daily diet of schoolchildren and the need for appropriate nutrition education in primary schools.

[Article in French]
Source : Pubmed