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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Voluntary Policies on Parents’ Ability to Select Healthy Foods in Supermarkets: A Qualitative Study of Australian Parental Views

1
School of Public Health, Curtin University, Kent Street, GPO Box U1987, Perth 6845, Western Australia, Australia
2
East Metropolitan Health Service, Kirkman House, 20 Murray Street, East Perth 6004, Western Australia, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3377; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183377
Received: 14 August 2019 / Revised: 9 September 2019 / Accepted: 10 September 2019 / Published: 12 September 2019
Food packaging is used for marketing purposes, providing consumers with information about product attributes at the point-of-sale and thus influencing food choice. The Australian government focuses on voluntary policies to address inappropriate food marketing, including the Health Star Rating nutrition label. This research explored the way marketing via packaging information influences Australian parents’ ability to select healthy foods for their children, and who parents believe should be responsible for helping them. Five 90-min focus groups were conducted by an experienced facilitator in Perth, Western Australia. Four fathers and 33 mothers of children aged 2–8 years participated. Group discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim and inductive thematic content analysis conducted using NVivo11. Seven themes were derived: (1) pressure of meeting multiple demands; (2) desire to speed up shopping; (3) feeding them well versus keeping them happy; (4) lack of certainty in packaging information; (5) government is trusted and should take charge; (6) food manufacturers’ health messages are not trusted; (7) supermarkets should assist parents to select healthy foods. Food packaging information appears to be contributing to parents’ uncertainty regarding healthy food choices. Supermarkets could respond to parents’ trust in them by implementing structural policies, providing shopping environments that support and encourage healthy food choices. View Full-Text
Keywords: food choice; food decision making; food label; marketing; supermarket; food policy; children food choice; food decision making; food label; marketing; supermarket; food policy; children
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pulker, C.E.; Chew Ching Li, D.; Scott, J.A.; Pollard, C.M. The Impact of Voluntary Policies on Parents’ Ability to Select Healthy Foods in Supermarkets: A Qualitative Study of Australian Parental Views. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3377. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183377

AMA Style

Pulker CE, Chew Ching Li D, Scott JA, Pollard CM. The Impact of Voluntary Policies on Parents’ Ability to Select Healthy Foods in Supermarkets: A Qualitative Study of Australian Parental Views. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(18):3377. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183377

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pulker, Claire E.; Chew Ching Li, Denise; Scott, Jane A.; Pollard, Christina M. 2019. "The Impact of Voluntary Policies on Parents’ Ability to Select Healthy Foods in Supermarkets: A Qualitative Study of Australian Parental Views" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 16, no. 18: 3377. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183377

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