Aim: The present study aimed to identify factors that influence the consumption of fish and foods that are enriched
with omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA), in order to inform the development of effective
nutrition education strategies.
Methods: A cross-sectional, 10-item self-administered survey was conducted to 262 parents of children aged 9–13
years from a regional centre in New South Wales. Parents were asked questions related to frequency of consumption,
and to identify factors that either encouraged or prevented the provision of fish/seafood and/or n-3 LCPUFAenriched
foods for their families.
Results: Salmon, canned tuna, prawn and take-away fish were the most commonly eaten variants of fish/seafood,
at approximately once a month. Perceived health benefits and the influence of media and health professionals in
health promotion were identified as the primary motivators for consumption of fish/seafood and foods enriched with
n-3 LCPUFA. Among families who consume fish, taste was valued as having a major positive influence, as well as
preferences of individual family members, but the latter was perceived as an obstacle in non-fish consumers. Price
was the main barrier to consumption of fresh, but not canned, fish and n–3-enriched foods, in both those that do
and do not consume these foods.
Conclusion: Despite Australian parents’ knowledge of the health benefits n-3 LCPUFA, only a fifth of households
meet the recommended two serves of fish per week, hence nutrition education strategies are warranted.