What is the relationship between family affluence and young people’s food behaviours? New paper in Journal of Youth Studies

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A new paper examining young people’s food consumption in relation to family affluence (FAS) over time in England has been published in the Journal of Youth Studies. The Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) survey data were analysed by Families and Food in Hard Times researchers Antonia Simon, Charlie Owen and Rebecca O’Connell in collaboration with Professor Fiona Brooks, who leads the HBSC England study.  Changing trends in young people’s food behaviour and wellbeing in England in relation to family affluence between 2005 and 2014 finds that young people in the low FAS group consistently report less healthy eating behaviours than those in higher FAS groups, as well as differences by gender, such as more soft/sugary drink consumption and lower consumption of fruit and vegetables for boys. The analysis also finds evidence of a ‘closing gap’ between the FAS groups over time in terms of some behaviours. While the results highlight some potentially positive effects of policies for addressing poor diets and dietary inequalities, they also raise concerns given the UK context of continuing economic austerity and political uncertainty linked to fluctuating food prices. The paper is being presented at the Adolescent Wellbeing Conference that takes place at the UCL Institute of Education on 12th December.

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