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Fathers' perspectives on the diets and physical activity behaviours of their young children

Walsh, Adam D, Hesketh, Kylie D, van der Pligt, Paige, Cameron, Adrian J, Crawford, David and Campbell, Karen J 2017, Fathers' perspectives on the diets and physical activity behaviours of their young children, PloS one, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 1-19, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179210.

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Title Fathers' perspectives on the diets and physical activity behaviours of their young children
Author(s) Walsh, Adam DORCID iD for Walsh, Adam D orcid.org/0000-0001-9805-6659
Hesketh, Kylie DORCID iD for Hesketh, Kylie D orcid.org/0000-0002-2702-7110
van der Pligt, PaigeORCID iD for van der Pligt, Paige orcid.org/0000-0003-4391-9431
Cameron, Adrian JORCID iD for Cameron, Adrian J orcid.org/0000-0002-0568-5497
Crawford, DavidORCID iD for Crawford, David orcid.org/0000-0002-2467-7556
Campbell, Karen JORCID iD for Campbell, Karen J orcid.org/0000-0002-4499-3396
Journal name PloS one
Volume number 12
Issue number 6
Article ID e0179210
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Publisher Public Library of Science
Place of publication United States
Publication date 2017-06
ISSN 1932-6203
1932-6203
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
BODY-MASS INDEX
PRESCHOOL-CHILDREN
PARENTING PRACTICES
FEEDING PRACTICES
FOOD PREFERENCES
EATING BEHAVIORS
PEER MODELS
ADOLESCENTS
DETERMINANTS
ASSOCIATIONS
Summary Background
Children’s learning about food and physical activity is considerable during their formative years, with parental influence pivotal. Research has focused predominantly on maternal influences with little known about the relationships between fathers’ and young children’s dietary and physical activity behaviours. A greater understanding of paternal beliefs regarding young children’s dietary and physical activity behaviours is important to inform the design and delivery of child-focussed health promotion interventions. This study aimed to describe fathers’ perceived roles in their children’s eating and physical activity behaviours. It also sought to document fathers’ views regarding how they could be best supported to promote healthy eating and physical activity behaviours in their young children.

Methods

In depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty fathers living in socio-economically diverse areas of metropolitan Melbourne, Australia who had at least one child aged five years or less. All interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed.

Results
Thematic analysis of the transcripts revealed eight broad themes about fathers’ beliefs, perceptions and attitudes towards the dietary and physical activity behaviours of their young children: (i) shared responsibility and consultation; (ii) family meal environment; (iii) parental role modelling; (iv) parental concerns around food; (v) food rewards; (vi) health education; (vii) limiting screen time; and (viii) parental knowledge. Analysis of themes according to paternal education/employment revealed no substantial differences in the views of fathers.

Conclusions
This exploratory study presents the views of a socio-economically diverse group of fathers regarding the dietary and physical activity behaviours of their young children and the insights into the underlying perceptions informing these views. The findings suggest that fathers believe healthy eating behaviours and being physically active are important for their young children. Fathers believe these behaviours can be promoted and supported in different ways including through the provision of appropriate meal and physical activity environments and parental role modelling of desired dietary and physical activity behaviours.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0179210
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
MD Multidisciplinary
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017 Walsh et al
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30097244

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.