Predictors of the frequency of Australian children's consumption of unhealthy foods

S. Pettigrew, M. Jongenelis, K. Chapman, Caroline Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Child obesity interventions need to be based on a sound understanding of the factors that influence children's diets. Objective: To investigate the relationship between a range of predictor variables and the frequency with which Australian children consume energy-dense, nutrient-poor (EDNP) foods. Methods: A web panel provider was used to access 1302 parents of Australian children aged 8–14 years who responded to an online survey about their children's diets. Structural equation modelling was conducted to test a model of the factors contributing to the frequency of children's unhealthy food consumption. Results: Of the tested variables, consumption of EDNP foods was primarily influenced by parents’ attitudes to these foods, children's pestering behaviours and perceived social norms relating to children's consumption of these products. Both pestering and social norms had significant direct effects on consumption frequency as well as indirect effects via their impact on parents’ attitudes to EDNP foods. Conclusion: Environmental factors that contribute to both pestering and social norms are likely to be critical considerations in the development of child obesity interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e18-e21
JournalPediatric Obesity
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Parents
  • path analysis
  • pestering
  • social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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