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Exploring the lives of vulnerable young people in relation to their food choices and practices.

Gombert, Karolina; Douglas, Flora; McArdle, Karen; Carlisle, Sandra


Karolina Gombert

Karen McArdle

Sandra Carlisle


The interdisciplinary Foodways and Futures project (2013-2016) is based on a pilot study, which found no improvement in the nutritional state of formerly homeless young people (16-25), now in supported accommodation at a charitable youth organization. Because a healthy food intake during adolescence is important and because young people with lower socioeconomic backgrounds face difficulties in maintaining a healthy diet (Beasley at al., 2005), we investigated how the young people themselves experience their relationship to food. In this paper, we explore links between life experiences - both before and during residence with the charitable organization - and choices and practices when eating. The study illustrates the ways in which those choices and practices may appear nutritionally undesirable, but are nevertheless linked to the search of those young people for ontological security and social connectedness in their new living environment. In this, we draw on and extend Schlossberg's (1981) transition theory, in order to better understand the rationales underlying an individual's food choices.


GOMBERT, K., DOUGLAS, F., MCARDLE, K. and CARLISLE, S. 2017. Exploring the lives of vulnerable young people in relation to their food choices and practices. World journal of education [online], 7(3), pages 50-61, available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 22, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 14, 2017
Publication Date Jun 30, 2017
Deposit Date Jan 8, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jan 15, 2020
Journal World journal of education
Print ISSN 1925-0746
Electronic ISSN 1925-0754
Publisher Sciedu Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 3
Pages 50-61
Keywords Food poverty; Eating habits; Young people; Health inequality; Public health
Public URL