Department of Management

Liisa Lähteenmäki

Exploring self-regulatory strategies for eating behaviour in Danish adolescents

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose – Healthy eating behaviour in adolescence may be negatively affected by lack of self-regulation. The purpose of this paper is to discuss strategies for regulating eating behaviour as formulated by adolescents themselves.
Design/methodology/approach – Self-regulatory strategies were elicited with concept mapping, which is a group-based method. Three meetings were conducted with each of four school classes in Denmark. Participants in the 12-15-year age group were recruited for the study. At the first meeting, participants had to complete the phrase “Things I can do to ensure my healthy eating are: [. . .]”. At the second meeting, participants had to group the statements. At the third meeting, the results were discussed with participants.
Findings – The results suggest that adolescents’ knowledge about healthy and unhealthy eating is in line with the official guidelines provided by health organisations. Adolescents made 142 statements about things they could do to ensure healthy eating; the statements were grouped by adolescents, and 12 strategies were formulated: following nutrition recommendations, developing own rules, making healthy deals with oneself, ensuring the right balance and regularity of food intake, awareness: remember to eat healthy, thinking of consequences, good advice for shopping and cooking, seeking help from parents, influencing family and others, avoiding temptations, replacing unhealthy food with a healthier option and reducing the amounts of unhealthy food in diet.
Practical implications – Focusing on improving adolescents’ self-regulatory skills in the domain of eating behaviour is a promising approach in developing future interventions.
Originality/value – The present article explores self-regulatory strategies for eating behaviour in adolescence and discusses their relevance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalYoung Consumers
Pages (from-to)155-167
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Eating behaviour, Adolescents, Self-regulation

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