Tshwane Metropolitan Area are explored and described. The study focused on the extent to which these adults consumed traditional and Western-orientated foods and the contribution of selected environmental influences from both the external and internal environments.
Numerous changes in the external environment, due largely to urbanisation and modernisation, have contributed to a change in lifestyle of the black South African population. This trend has resulted in a gradual move from the traditional to a more Western- orientated lifestyle and associated food practices. This study aims to contribute to the knowledge gap on the food practices of young urban black adults residing in the Tshwane Metropolitan Area. The human ecological perspective was used as theoretical perspective and a quantitative research approach was followed for this explorative and descriptive cross- sectional study. A convenience sample of 323 young urban black adults from the central suburbs of Tshwane Metropolitan Area participated in this study. A pretested self- administered questionnaire consisting of both closed and open-ended questions was developed to collect the data. Information gathered focused on their usual eating patterns, the frequency of consumption of traditional and Western-orientated foods and the influence of knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and values on their food choice and practices.
Results confirm the on-going changes in the eating patterns of the study group. The majority (56.04%) of the respondents ate three meals a day. The weekday meal composition consisted mainly of a bread-based breakfast and lunch with some respondents reporting snacking between meals. The evening meal comprised rice or stiff maize meal porridge served with either chicken or meat. Only 25% ate vegetables as part of this meal.
A similar meal pattern and composition was followed over weekends, although some differences in the types and quantities of both traditional and Western-orientated food items were noted. The identified food practices confirm a more frequent inclusion of Western-orientated foods at most meals, although traditional foods are still consumed on special occasions and whenever they are available.
Furthermore, the study provides valuable insights on how knowledge, attitudes, values and beliefs contribute to food choice behaviour related to healthy eating, traditional and Western- orientated foods. Although the respondents knew about healthy food products, they did not put their knowledge into practice, as was specifically evident in the low consumption of fruit, vegetables and dairy products. This raises concern. Their positive attitude towards traditional food was confirmed as they regarded it as tasty and healthy. The majority of the respondents associated traditional foods with cultural identity and valued it as essential for social and cultural cohesion. In spite of the pertinent adoption and embracing of certain elements of Western-orientated food practices, traditional food still features prominently in the eating patterns of young black adults in Tshwane, and should be encouraged and promoted in consumer facilitation and nutrition education.
Dissertation (MConsumer Science)--University of Pretoria, 2015.