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Perceived Barriers to Healthy Eating Among Mothers of Preparatory School Girl Students in an Egyptian City: A Qualitative Study

Research Authors
Dalia Mohamed Atef Shehata Ismail, Dalia G Mahran, Farag M Moftah, Mirette M Aziz
Research Date
Research Journal
The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine
Research Publisher
Pan Arab League of Continuous Medical Education
Research Vol
Research Year
Research Abstract


parents face many barriers in feeding their children in a healthy way, and these perceived barriers may affect children's eating habits.


this study aimed to investigate the existing barriers perceived by mothers in relation to the eating behaviors of their preparatory school children.

Participants and Methods:

four focus groups were conducted with mothers of students (N=30) at 3 preparatory girl schools in Assiut city. Focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted using a FGD guide. Analysis was conducted using Nvivo11 software.


the reported barriers to healthy eating among Egyptian population included personal barriers, family barriers, social barrier peer pressure, and community settings barrier. Family barriers included parents’ dietary habits and taste preferences, mother's knowledge about healthy diet, mothers' working status and house chore commitment, and family socioeconomic conditions. Personal barriers included taste preferences, psychological changes of adolescence and sense of independence, adolescents’ denial of the unhealthy nature of their preferred food, and culture and values.


family and personal barriers were the main barriers to healthy eating behaviors perceived by mothers.


the reported barriers to healthy eating from the mothers' perspective should be taken in consideration during construction of nutritional education program to improve its success.