Department of Management

An exploration of adolescent snacking conventions and dilemmas

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

  • Department of Marketing and Statistics
  • MAPP - Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Sector
Purpose – Snacking has been characterized as normatively unrestricted and identified as one of the main causes of adolescent obesity. The purpose of this paper is not to question the relation between obesity and snacking, but to ask to which extent adolescent snacking is socially unrestricted and to
explore adolescent perceptions of the potential conventions and dilemmas involved in snacking.
Design/methodology/approach – Referring to previous research in food choice dilemmas and conventions, the paper starts out by discussing potential implications for adolescent snacking in different social contexts. Following this, the design, implementation and results of three focus groups, aiming at an exploration of adolescent snacking perceptions is described.
Findings – By identifying two distinct forms of adolescent snacking, i.e. ‘‘in-between meals’’ and ‘‘fun snacks’’, the results of the focus groups falsify the perception of snacking as socially unrestricted and offer some interesting insights into the conventions, personal dilemmas and intergenerational conflicts
which characterize adolescent snacking.
Social implications – The classification of snacking as unrestricted of social norms is both unwarranted and counterproductive to the understanding – and subsequently the mitigation – of the relation between snacking and obesity.
Originality/value – Apart from falsifying the classification of snacking as unrestricted of social norms, the study contributes by devising a focus group design for elicitation of social norms and dilemmas. Recognizing that the study is just a first step towards a comprehensive understanding of adolescent snacking and that facilitation of healthier snacking
Original languageEnglish
JournalYoung Consumers
Pages (from-to)253-263
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Research areas

  • MAPP, Denmark, Adolecents, Social norms, Food products, Diet

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