Parents’ perception of their role in the prevention of inadequate consumption of fruit and vegetables among adolescents in South Africa




taste buds, fruit, vegetables, South Africa, oral health


South African adolescents consume relatively low fruit and vegetables in spite of the development of foodbased dietary guidelines for South Africa. The aims and objectives of the present study were to investigate parents’ perception of their role in the prevention of the health compromising behaviour of inadequate consumption of fruit and vegetables among adolescents in South Africa. The study design was qualitative and exploratory and the research strategy used was inductive, deductive and abductive. Using a guiding question schedule data were collected from five focus group interviews. A non-probability purposive theoretical sampling method was utilized and the sample size of 37 determined by theoretical saturation. Data analysis was performed using the grounded theory approach. The findings of the study suggest that children should be introduced to fruit and vegetables as early as possible. The study recommends that infants should be exposed to the taste of locally available fruit and vegetables followed by the gradual introduction of fruit and vegetables into their diet together with a variety of other nutrientdense foods when solid foods are being introduced.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Vorster HH, Love P, Browne C. Development of food-based dietary guidelines for South Africa – the process. S Afr J Clin Nutr. 2001; 14: 3-6.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Strategies to Prevent Obesity and Other Chronic Diseases: The CDC Guide to Strategies to Increase the Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2011.

Fostera MA, Lambertb R, Abbott-Shima M, Mccartya F, Franze S. A model of home learning environment and social risk factors in relation to children's emergent literacy and social outcomes. Early Child Res Q. 2005; 20: 13-36.

Friestad C, Klepp K. Socioeconomic status and health behaviour patterns through adolescence: results from a prospective cohort study in Norway. Eur J Public Health. 2006; 16: 41-7.

James WPT, Nelson M, Ralph A, Leather S. Socioeconomic determinants of health: the contribution of nutrition to inequalities in health. Br Med J. 1997; 314: 1545 - 8.

Watt RG, Sheiham A. Dietary patterns and changes in inner city adolescents. J Hum Nutr and Diet. 1996; 9: 451- 61.

Friel S, Newell J, Kelleher C. Who eats four or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day? Multivariate classification tree analysis of data from the 1998 Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition in the Republic of Ireland. Public Health Nutr. 2005; 8: 159-69.

Wardle J, Guthrie CA, Sanderson S, Rapoport, L. Development of the children's eating behaviour questionnaire. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2001; 42: 963-70.

Bere E, Brug J, Klepp KI. Why do boys eat less fruit and vegetables than girls? Public Health Nutr. 2008; 11: 321-5.

Rovner AJ, Nansel TR, Wang J, Iannotti RJ. Foods sold in school vending machines are associated with overall student dietary intake. J Adolesc Health. 2011; 48: 13-9.

Kubik MY, Lytle IA, Hannan PJ, Perry CL, Story M. The association of the school food environment with dietary behaviours of young adolescents. Am J Public Health. 2003; 93: 1168-73.

World Health Organisation. Ten facts about chronic diseases. Geneva: WHO. 2005.

Okagbare TE, Naidoo S. Parents’ perception of psychosocial factors, health compromising behaviours and oral health among adolescents in South Africa. SADJ. 2018; 73: 221-7.

Okagbare TE, Naidoo S. Parental participation in the influencing of the unhealthy behaviour of adolescents in their excessive consumption of free sugars: a qualitative study. SADJ. 2018; 74: 165-70.

Wenjun Li, Youssef G, Procter-Gray E., et al. Racial differences in eating patterns and food purchasing behaviors among urban older women. J Nutr Health Aging. 2017; 21: 1190-9.

Allen ML, Elliott MN, Morales LS, Diamant AL, Hambarsoomian K, Schuster M.A. Adolescent participation in preventive health behaviours, physical activity, and nutrition: differences across immigrant generations for Asians and Latinos compared with Whites. Am J Public Health. 2007, 97: 337-43.

Bruss MB, Morris JR, Dannison LL, Orbe MP, Quitugua JA, Palacios RT. Food, culture, and family: exploring the coordinated management of meaning regarding childhood obesity. Health Commun. 2005; 18: 155-75.

Macarthur LH, Anguiano R, Gross KH. Are household factors putting immigrant Hispanic children at risk for becoming overweight: a community-based study in eastern North Carolina. J Community Health. 2004, 29: 387-404.

Wardle J, Cooke L. Genetic and environmental determinants of children’s food preferences. Br J Nutr. 2008, 99: 15-21.

Gibson EL, Kreichauf S, Wildgruber A., et al. A narrative review of psychological and educational strategies applied to young children’s eating behaviours aimed at reducing obesity risk. Obes Rev. 2012, 13: 85-95.

Krølner R, Rasmussen M, Brug J, Klepp K, Wind M, Due P. Determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption among children and adolescents: a review of the literature. Part II: qualitative studies. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011; 8: 1479- 5868.

Duijster D, De Jong-Lenters M, Verrips E, van Loveren C. Establishing oral health promoting behaviours in children - parents’ views on barriers, facilitators and professional support: a qualitative study. BMC Oral Health 2015, 15: 157-70.

Love P, Sayed N. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables every day. S Afr J Clin Nutr. 2001; 14: 24-32.

Schwartz C, Scholtens P, Lalanne A, Weenen H, Nicklaus S. Development of healthy eating habits early in life: review of recent evidence and selected guidelines. Appetite 2011; 57: 796-807.

EUFIC Food Today. Tastes differ – how taste preferences develop 2011; Available from: [Accessed 25/03/2016].

Mennella JA, Beauchamp GK. The early development of human flavor preferences. In Capaldi ED. (ed.). Why we eat what we eat: the psychology of eating. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1996.

EUFIC Food Today. Encouraging young children to eat different vegetables. 2010. Available from: [Accessed 25/03/2016].

Crowe KM, Murray E. Deconstructing a fruit serving: comparing the antioxidant density of select whole fruit and 100% fruit juices. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013; 113: 1354 -8.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Food Allergy: an overview 2012; Available from: [Accessed 27-03-2016].

Kelava N, Lugovic-Mihic L, Duvancic T, Romic R. Šitum, M. Oral allergy syndrome – the need of a multidisciplinary approach. Acta Clin Croat 2014; 53:210-19.

WHO. Fruit and Vegetable Promotion Initiative–report of the meeting, Geneva, 25–27 August 2003 WHO Geneva. [Accessed 19/09/2019].

Gillman, M.W., Rifas-Shiman, S.L., Frazier, A.L., et al. Family dinner and diet quality among older children and adolescents. Arch. Fam. Med. 2000; 9: 235-40.




How to Cite

Okagbare, T. E., & Naidoo, S. (2020). Parents’ perception of their role in the prevention of inadequate consumption of fruit and vegetables among adolescents in South Africa. South African Dental Journal, 75(5), 235–240.

Most read articles by the same author(s)