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The paradoxical food buying behaviour of parents: insights from the UK and Australia

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Abstract

    Purpose - This article aims to explore the apparent paradox between the nutritional knowledge of

    parents of pre-school children and their actual food purchase and preparation behaviour.

    Design/methodology/approach - Two separate qualitative data collection exercises were

    conducted, an exploratory focus group study in the UK and a projective technique study in Australia.

    Findings - The UK study found that, despite believing that vegetables were good for children's

    health, mothers also perceived that it was extremely difficult to encourage children to eat them. The

    results of Australian study suggest that the purchase of unhealthy "treats" or "bribes" is explained

    through the concept of "expediency" whereas what this study labels as "good parenting" emerged as

    the main motivational force leading to the purchase of healthy food.

    Research limitations/implications - The authors caution on any inappropriate generalisations

    being based on the findings of this study. Further qualitative and quantitative empirical research is

    suggested in settings different to those of this study.

    Practical implications - The authors suggest that information- and education-based campaigns,

    which simply emphasise the benefits of "healthy" food and the disbenefits of "unhealthy" food for

    children will have limited impact on childhood obesity. Instead, future interventions need to

    acknowledge the complex reality of parenting and the barriers and competition to healthy food

    choices, and to offer parents meaningful help in food purchasing and preparation. An approach

    suggested by the authors that acknowledges this complexity is that of social marketing.

    Originality/value - This paper provides new insights into the food purchase and preparation behaviour

    of parents and suggests alternative strategies for addressing the current childhood obesity epidemic.

    Keywords Consumer behaviour, Parents, Children (age groups), Obesity, United Kingdom, Australia

    Paper type Research paper

Authors


  •   Noble, Gary I.
  •   Stead, Martine (external author)
  •   Jones, Sandra C. (external author)
  •   McDermott, Laura (external author)
  •   McVie, Danielle (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2007

Citation


  • Noble, G. I., Stead, M., Jones, S. C., McDermott, L. & McVie, D. (2007). The paradoxical food buying behaviour of parents: insights from the UK and Australia. British Food Journal: an international multi-disciplinary journal for the dissemination of food-related research, 109 (5), 387-398.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-34249042893

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2642&context=hbspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/hbspapers/1589

Number Of Pages


  • 11

Start Page


  • 387

End Page


  • 398

Volume


  • 109

Issue


  • 5

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.emeraldinsight.com/info/journals/bfj.jsp

Abstract


  • Abstract

    Purpose - This article aims to explore the apparent paradox between the nutritional knowledge of

    parents of pre-school children and their actual food purchase and preparation behaviour.

    Design/methodology/approach - Two separate qualitative data collection exercises were

    conducted, an exploratory focus group study in the UK and a projective technique study in Australia.

    Findings - The UK study found that, despite believing that vegetables were good for children's

    health, mothers also perceived that it was extremely difficult to encourage children to eat them. The

    results of Australian study suggest that the purchase of unhealthy "treats" or "bribes" is explained

    through the concept of "expediency" whereas what this study labels as "good parenting" emerged as

    the main motivational force leading to the purchase of healthy food.

    Research limitations/implications - The authors caution on any inappropriate generalisations

    being based on the findings of this study. Further qualitative and quantitative empirical research is

    suggested in settings different to those of this study.

    Practical implications - The authors suggest that information- and education-based campaigns,

    which simply emphasise the benefits of "healthy" food and the disbenefits of "unhealthy" food for

    children will have limited impact on childhood obesity. Instead, future interventions need to

    acknowledge the complex reality of parenting and the barriers and competition to healthy food

    choices, and to offer parents meaningful help in food purchasing and preparation. An approach

    suggested by the authors that acknowledges this complexity is that of social marketing.

    Originality/value - This paper provides new insights into the food purchase and preparation behaviour

    of parents and suggests alternative strategies for addressing the current childhood obesity epidemic.

    Keywords Consumer behaviour, Parents, Children (age groups), Obesity, United Kingdom, Australia

    Paper type Research paper

Authors


  •   Noble, Gary I.
  •   Stead, Martine (external author)
  •   Jones, Sandra C. (external author)
  •   McDermott, Laura (external author)
  •   McVie, Danielle (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2007

Citation


  • Noble, G. I., Stead, M., Jones, S. C., McDermott, L. & McVie, D. (2007). The paradoxical food buying behaviour of parents: insights from the UK and Australia. British Food Journal: an international multi-disciplinary journal for the dissemination of food-related research, 109 (5), 387-398.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-34249042893

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2642&context=hbspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/hbspapers/1589

Number Of Pages


  • 11

Start Page


  • 387

End Page


  • 398

Volume


  • 109

Issue


  • 5

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.emeraldinsight.com/info/journals/bfj.jsp