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Sunday, January 08, 2017

PARENTS’ AND TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF PROCESSED FOODS IMPACT ON CHILD HEALTH-Brazilian Journal in Health Promotion, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2015, pp. 16-22

Brazil has been actively doing research of the impacts of process foods on the human health. A recent study aimed to gain the opinions of parents and teachers on the processed foods effects on children’s health. Brazil has seen a shift in nutritional profiles, with a significant increase in diseases relating to nutritional excess. This is associated with the development of the country, which is improving the living conditions for some people in the society. Furthermore, with technological advancement and modernity, issues such as obesity are being a serious health problem.

 The convenience of processed food has become part of the children eating habits. The study aimed to analyze the relation of childhood obesity and the influence of processed food. By looking at the role of media and advertisement that appeal to children's imagination such as animals, character references for children. These advertisement techniques result in children consuming unhealthy foods, and the parents are unaware of the risk of these foods.

 This qualitative study was conducted with 19 parents and 11 teachers of the public child day care in the municipality of Ceara State. Ceara State has a population o of about 25,000 people. This study was conducted from January to September 2010 by having four focus groups. These groups were audiotaped and transcribed as well. The purpose of the groups was to focus the research and formulate a) precise question, b) bring complementary information such as the group's beliefs, attitudes, perceptions and c) develop and hypothesis for the future studies.

 Results state that the teachers have seen a change in the trend of eating behavior of children attending their daycares. They stated that these changes are influenced by commercial that aggravates the consumption of processed foods instead of healthy food options. These commercials are creating a “cult of the new and modern”. Furthermore, even though free meals are provided at the school, the children can buy processed food as it is available at schools. The availability and affordability of processed foods near the school entrance have a strong emotional appeal and compete with the meals offered at the school. Also, even though parents understand the issues and problem of processed foods, they still give unhealthy food to their children. The idea of eating to service has decreased. The availability to buy food has become a status issue where people “live to eat” instead of “eating to live”.

 The study urges for the need for international that is focused on school and family to prevent intimate consumption of processed foods. Similar studies conducted by Monterio et al., (2010) looked at how processed foods in Brazil and being replaced by ultra-processed foods with very little nutritious value. They have also suggested that governments and health authorities should use methods such as legislation, statutory regulations to stop and reverse the replacement of minimally processed foods and processed culinary ingredients by ultra-processed food production.


 Monteiro, C.A., Levy, R.B., Claro, R.M., de Castro, I.R.R. and Cannon, G. (2010) ‘Increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods and likely impact on human health: evidence from Brazil’, Public Health Nutrition, 14(1), pp. 5–13. doi: 10.1017/S1368980010003241.


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