Motivations Underlying the Snack Choices of Japanese Junior High School Students: A Study Based on Cluster Analysis
Rie Akamatsu
DOI: 10.4236/fns.2011.27096   PDF    HTML     3,986 Downloads   7,410 Views  


The aims of the present study were to group junior high school students according to factors influencing their snack choice and identify differences between the characteristics and snack choice behaviors of the groups. An anonymous self-report questionnaire was administered to 1936 students (13 - 15 years old) in eight junior high schools in Tokyo, Japan. The students responded to the Snack Choice Questionnaire (SCQ) as well as questions concerning snacking behaviors, lifestyles, and demographics. Cluster analysis was applied to sort the sample according to SCQ scores. Each cluster’s characteristics were examined by gender using the χ2 test or the Kruskal-Wallis test with a Bonferroni adjustment. Participants were divided into four groups: high in all factors, low in all factors, low value in health, and value in health. The “value in health” group was composed of more girls than boys and the “low in all factors” group had fewer girls than boys. Those in the “high in all factors” and “low value in health” groups indicated that they consumed more snacks. Moreover, gender differences were revealed. By assessing the SCQ prior to providing nutrition education, we can obtain valuable information to make nutrition education planning.

Share and Cite:

R. Akamatsu, "Motivations Underlying the Snack Choices of Japanese Junior High School Students: A Study Based on Cluster Analysis," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 7, 2011, pp. 700-705. doi: 10.4236/fns.2011.27096.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] A. Steptoe, T. M. Pollard and J. Wardle, “Development of a Measure of the Motives Underlying the Selection of Food: The Food Choice Questionnaire,” Appetite, Vol. 25, No. 3, 1995, pp. 267-284.
[2] Y. H. Sun, “Health Concern, Food Choice Motives, and Attitudes toward Healthy Eating: The Mediating Role of Food Choice Motives,” Appetite, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2008, pp. 42-49.
[3] G. Ares and A. Gámbaro, “Influence of Gender, Age and Motives Underlying Food Choice on Perceived Healthiness and Willingness to Try Functional Foods,” Appetite, Vol. 49, No. 1, 2007, pp. 148-158.
[4] N. I. Larson, D. R. Neumark-Sztainer, L. J. Harnack, M. M. Wal, M. T. Story and M. E. Eisenberg, “Fruit and Vegetable Intake Correlates during the Transition to Young Adulthood,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2008, pp. 33-37. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2008.03.019
[5] N. I. Larson, D. R. Neumark-Sztainer, M. T. Story, M. M. Wall, L. J. Harnack and M. E. Eisenberg, “Fast Food Intake: Longitudinal Trends during the Transition to Young Adulthood and Correlates of Intake,” Journal of Adolescent Health, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2008, pp. 79-86. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.12.005
[6] L.Y. Wang, D. Chyen, S. Lee and R. Lowry, “The Association between Body Mass Index in Adolescence and Obesity in Adulthood,” Journal of Adolescent Health, Vol. 42, No. 5, 2008, pp. 512-518. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.10.010
[7] T. M. Horacek and N. M. Betts, “Students Cluster into 4 Groups According to the Factors Influencing Their Dietary Intake,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 98, No. 12, 1998, pp. 1264-1467. doi:10.1016/S0002-8223(98)00333-2
[8] [8] D. Neumark-Sztainer, M. Story, C. Perry and M. A. Casey, “Factors Influencing Food Choices of Adolescents: Finding from Focus-Group Discussions with Adolescents,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 99, No. 8, 1999, pp. 929-937. doi:10.1016/S0002-8223(99)00117-0
[9] S. A. French, M. Story, P. Hannan, K. K. Breitlow, R. W. Jeffery, J. S. Baxte and M. P. Snyder, “Cognitive and Demographic Correlates of Low-Fat Vending Snack Choices among Adolescents and Adults,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 99, No. 4, 1999, pp. 471-475. doi:10.1016/S0002-8223(99)00117-0
[10] R. Akamatsu, “A Measure of the Motives Underlying Snack Selection among Japanese Junior High School Students: The Snack Choice Questionnaire (SCQ),” Japanese Journal of Public Health, Vol. 54, No. 2, 2007, pp. 89-97.
[11] H. Izuchi and R. Akamatsu, “The Psychosocial Predictors of Excessive Eating of Snacks among Japanese Junior High School Students Using the Theory of Planned Behavior,” Japanese Journal of Health Education and Promotion, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2007, pp. 89-99.
[12] D. G. Altman, S. M. Gore, M. J. Gardner and S. J. Pocock, “Statistical Guidelines for Contributors to Medical Journals,” In: D.G. Altman, D. Machin, T. N. Bryant and M. J. Gardner, Eds., Statistics with Confidence, 2nd Edition, BMJ Books, Bristol, 2000, pp.171-190.
[13] A. J. Hill, “Motivation for Eating Behaviour in Adolescent girLs: The Body Beautiful,” The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, Vol. 65, No. 2, 2006, pp. 376-384. doi:10.1079/PNS2006513
[14] J. Wardle, A. M. Haase, A. Steptoe, M. Nillapun, K. Jonwutiwes and F. Bellisle, “Gender Differences in Food choice: The Contribution of Health Beliefs and Dieting,” Annals Behavior Medicine, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2004, pp. 107- 116. doi:10.1207/s15324796abm2702_5
[15] J. Westenhoefer, “Age and Gender Dependent Profile of Food Choice,” Forum of Nutrition, Vol. 57, 2005, pp. 44- 51. doi:10.1159/000083753

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.