Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

ObjectiveTo explore adolescents' perceptions, knowledge and behaviours regarding nutrition and physical activity in low-income districts of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, taking into consideration their caregivers' perspectives.DesignTwo investigators conducted six focus group discussions.SettingThe study was carried out in two low-income suburbs, Yopougon and Port-Bouët, in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.ParticipantsAdolescents and their caregivers were recruited into the study via local head teachers and heads of settlement.ResultsOverall, seventy-two participants, including forty-six adolescents and twenty-six caregivers, took part. Participants demonstrated good nutrition knowledge, relating nutritional health to a balanced diet and hygiene. Sustained physical activity was reported. However, adopting good practices was challenging due to participant's economic circumstances. Their environment was a barrier to improving health due to dirtiness and violence, with a lack of space limiting the possibility to practice sport. Adolescents and their caregivers differed in their response to these constraints. Many caregivers felt powerless and suggested that a political response was the solution. Alternatively, adolescents were more likely to suggest new creative solutions such as youth-friendly centres within their community.ConclusionsParticipants were aware that their nutritional habits were not in line with what they had learnt to be good nutritional practices due to socio-economic constraints. Physical activity was part of adolescent life, but opportunities to exercise were restricted by their environment. Strategies for improving adolescent health in these settings need to be developed in collaboration with adolescents in a manner that accommodates their opinions and solutions.

Original publication




Journal article


Public health nutrition

Publication Date





5227 - 5237


Inserm U1027, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse 3, France.


TALENT Collaboration, Humans, Exercise, Focus Groups, Poverty, Adolescent, Cote d'Ivoire, Adolescent Nutritional Physiological Phenomena