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Nutrients 2018, 10(5), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10050545

Parental Translation into Practice of Healthy Eating and Active Play Messages and the Impact on Childhood Obesity: A Mixed Methods Study

1
School of Health and Social Development, Global Obesity Centre, Deakin University, Geelong 3220, Australia
2
Australian Health Policy Collaboration, Victoria University, Melbourne 3000, Australia
3
Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS), The University of Melbourne and Western Health, St Albans 3021, Australia
4
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University, Geelong 3220, Australia
5
School of Medicine, Global Obesity Centre, Deakin University, Geelong 3220, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Life Nutrition: From Nutrients to Systems)
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Abstract

Childhood obesity is a significant health issue worldwide. Modifiable risk factors in early childhood relate to child healthy eating and active play, and are influenced by parents. The aim of the study was two-fold. Firstly, to determine the weight status of children aged between birth and 3.5 years in a rural and remote area of Australia. Secondly, to explore the relationship between child weight status and translation of advice on healthy eating and active play provided to parents by local, nurse-led, Maternal Child Health (MCH) services. Measured anthropometric data (n = 438) were provided by MCH services. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with two MCH nurses and 15 parents. Prevalence of overweight/obesity was calculated. Local childhood overweight/obesity prevalence was lower than the national average at age 3.5 years (11.38%; 20%). Parents identified the MCH service as a key source of healthy eating and active play advice and reported mostly following recommendations but struggling with screen time and fussy eating recommendations. We observed a relaxation in parent attitudes towards healthy child behaviours which coincided with a trend towards obesity from 12 months (p < 0.001). MCH services provide useful and effective advice to parents but ongoing support is required to prevent obesity later in childhood. View Full-Text
Keywords: childhood obesity; parents; nurse; prevention; maternal and child health childhood obesity; parents; nurse; prevention; maternal and child health
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Huxtable, A.; Millar, L.; Love, P.; Bell, C.; Whelan, J. Parental Translation into Practice of Healthy Eating and Active Play Messages and the Impact on Childhood Obesity: A Mixed Methods Study. Nutrients 2018, 10, 545.

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