Factors associated with parents' attitudes to unhealthy foods and beverages
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Aim Previous research has identified convenience, enjoyment, value for money and perceived goodness as primary dimensions of parents' attitudes to foods and beverages. The aim of the present study was to examine the factors associated with parents' scores on each of these attitudinal dimensions to identify key issues for future interventions designed to improve parents' food provision behaviours and children's diets. Methods A sample of 1302 Australian parents of children aged 8 to 14 years completed an online survey relating to their food-related beliefs. Linear regression analyses were undertaken to examine factors associated with parents' attitudes to soft drinks and energy-dense nutrient-poor foods. Results Consistent factors were identified for both energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods and soft drinks, indicating that similar approaches could be adopted in interventions for both product categories. The primary factors were social norms, child pestering, television viewing and exposure to food advertising. Conclusions Food advertising represents a common link between the primary factors, indicating that it constitutes a critical component of future interventions designed to modify parents' attitudes to unhealthy food products and to reduce the frequency with which these foods are consumed by children.
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