Strategies for public health initiatives targeting dairy consumption in young children: a qualitative formative investigation of parent perceptions

Mary Jung, Jessica Bourne, Andrea Buchholz, Kathleen Martin Ginis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

273 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective: Dairy products contain essential nutrients to ensure healthy growth and bone development in children. However, a significant proportion of children in developed countries fail to consume the daily recommended intake of dairy
products. Parents are the gatekeepers of familial nutritional intake and represent a potential vehicle through which to increase dairy consumption in children. As
such, formative research was conducted to gain insight into parents’ perceived
barriers to and benefits of purchasing and consuming dairy products and to
develop innovative message content that could be utilized in future public health
campaigns.
Design: Seven in-depth group interviews were conducted in two phases between
February and May 2015.
Setting: Interviews were conducted in local recreational centres and libraries in
British Columbia, Canada.
Subjects: Mothers (n 21, mean age 38 (SD 5) years) and fathers (n 9, mean age 38 (SD 3) years) of children aged 4–10 years.
Results: Parents perceived both positive and negative physical outcomes
associated with consuming dairy. Lack of trustworthy information was a frequently discussed barrier theme to purchasing and consuming dairy products. Mothers were concerned about the cost of dairy products. Differences in purchasing and consumption strategies were reported between parents of children who consumed adequate dairy and those who did not. Parents believed the most appropriate communication channel was through print material.
Conclusions: Messages targeting parents, as a means of increasing dairy
consumption in children, should address barriers identified by parents. In
addition, practical tips should be provided to promote purchasing and
consumption of dairy products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2893-2908
Number of pages16
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume20
Issue number16
Early online date30 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

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