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Title: Exploring convenience foods among Maltese primary school teachers
Authors: Bartolo, Ruby
Keywords: Convenience foods
Elementary school teachers -- Malta
Food consumption
Food preferences
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Food choices are influenced by a multitude of factors, such as quality, price, taste, culture, availability, accessibility and convenience (Superintendence of Public Health [Malta], 2012). The increase in households with both parents working and time constraints has lead to the ‘convenience revolution’ ‒ with pre-packed processed food products forming the basis of the majority of meals prepared in the home (World Health Organisation, 2006). Inappropriate or unhealthy use of convenience foods can eventually have a negative contribution to an individual’s health. The overarching goal of this collective case study was to explore how the phenomenon of convenience foods is perceived and experienced by Maltese primary school teachers who are the main food providers in their household. The lifestyle of these teachers was examined to investigate whether it facilitated or hindered the appropriate and healthy use of convenience foods. The sample comprised of five case study participants, four of which were females and one male: each pertaining to specific household categories. One-to-one semi-structured interviews, personal records consisting of a four-day activity journal, and a weekly diary of food purchases, were conducted. Results showed that family food preferences, family commitments, health value of food and time available for food preparation, influenced the type of convenience foods purchased. Older participants prioritised the health value of the convenience foods they bought, although taste preferences often presented a challenge. Participants were more cautious regarding fat, calories, sugars, and additives, in food products. Packaged convenience foods were preferred, while a higher amount of frozen convenience foods were bought over tinned varieties due to health related issues. Family-friendly working hours facilitated healthy food preparation, while inadequate time management emerged as a barrier to food preparation. This often resulted in unhealthy fast food convenience foods. All the female participants led a sedentary and very hectic lifestyle which inhibited physical activity. An educational leaflet targeting pressing issues that emerged from this study was distributed to all case study participants.
Description: B.ED.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEdu - 2014

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