Why is this important?
Preventable conditions, including noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and obesity, are of global concern, despite being modifiable through lifestyle changes such as healthy eating. The family context is pivotal in shaping children’s food/eating preferences and habits in the first years of life and these are likely to persist throughout adulthood. Fathers’ attitudes and behaviours towards food and eating can play a unique role in orienting family food choices and shaping the family food environment. Previous literature has established the importance of paternal diet, feeding practices and modelling in influencing children’s eating behavior. However an understanding of what shapes fathers’ food choices and their contribution to the family food context is currently lacking.
How are we doing this study?
This is a qualitative study aiming to explore perceptions and experiences of fathers living in Australia about their food choices and the relationship between food and health. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews and focus groups with individuals playing an active fathering role with children aged 1 to 12, resident in Melbourne or Geelong regions, will be conducted using a flexible question guide and key artefacts (photos), and transcribed. Data collection, transcriptions and analysis uses a qualitative description, inductive approach.
What are we hoping to find?
This study will provide an in-depth insight into fathers’ lay theories of food, eating and health, their personal food choices, perceived enablers and barriers to healthy eating, and fathers’ role in the family food context. This evidence may inform policies and interventions for healthy eating specifically addressing parents and families.