Healthy fast food for young adults

Mette Risbråthe

22. May 2009

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Teenagers and young adults eat out of the home more and more. Preferably something cheap and fast they can grab and eat as they go. However, the fast food market isn’t exactly teeming with healthy alternatives. It’s time we did something about this, according to Nordic researchers.

Although many young adults say they would like to eat more healthy food, it’s not easy to find healthy alternatives in the fast food market. The new project Nordic YoungHealth aims to meet their desire to eat more healthy food. Food producers and researchers will work together on finding healthier fast food options for young adults. The project will produce ideas for new products and product concepts.

Want to eat healthy food
"One of our most important tasks is to ask teenagers and young adults what they define as healthy, and what they would like to have available in terms of healthy alternatives in the fast food sector," says Øydis Ueland at Nofima Mat. She’s one of the members of the project group, and will help develop consumer surveys for the project. Survey replies from the target group will form an important basis for the development of new and healthier concepts and products aimed at young adults.

"Teenagers and young adults say that they care what they eat, and that they want to choose healthy options, provided that they are not too expensive," says Project Manager Kjersti Lillebø of SIFO, the National Institute for Consumer Research. The authorities, companies in the Nordic countries and research institutions wish to contribute in the fight against obesity by offering more healthy food for young adults. It’s important that these measures are carried out in the fast food sector, as many people in this age group eat their meals outside the home. The target group is teenagers and young adults in the age group 15-29 years.

Observe and ask the young
The first part of the project will look at what’s available in the fast food market today. New and more health promoting concepts that are already on the market will be identified and studied. In this phase, cooperation with fast food producers and health authorities may also take place. Questionnaires and observations studies in the field will be planned and developed at this stage.

The Nordic YoungHealth project started in April and will last for two years. The project is led by the National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO) and is partly financed by the Nordic Innovation Centre (NICe).

Consumer and sensory sciences   Food and health  

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