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When nutritional guidelines and life collide: family fruit and vegetable socialisation practices in low socioeconomic communities
journal contributionposted on 2014-06-30, 00:00 authored by S Judd, Joshua NewtonJoshua Newton, F Newton, Mike EwingMike Ewing
Parents play a critical role in promoting fruit and vegetable consumption, for eating patterns established early in life tend to persist into adulthood. Despite this, the factors that facilitate or inhibit parents’ capacity to socialise fruit and vegetable consumption into their children’s daily diets remain poorly defined. Thirty-eight semi-structured interviews with residents, allied healthcare professionals, community leaders, community programme leaders and a local government leader living or working in two low socioeconomic suburbs were consequently conducted to ascertain factors exogenous and endogenous to the family unit that shaped parental food socialisation practices. Budgetary and time constraints emerged as exogenous factors that constrained fruit and vegetable socialisation. Constraining effects were also found for a range of endogenous factors, including commensal experiences, children’s food fussiness and the feeding styles employed by parents. As such, while many caregivers may wish to socialise fruit and vegetable consumption into their children’s daily diets, their capacity to do so is often inhibited by factors beyond their volitional control. Failure to take heed of these factors could therefore result in the development of social marketing campaigns that are ineffective at best or give rise to unintentionally harmful outcomes at worst.