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      Acceptability and accessibility of child nutrition interventions: fathers’ perspectives from survey and interview studies

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          Against a background of changing family structures and socioeconomic demands in contemporary families, fathers are more actively engaged in meal preparation and feeding of their children, yet in research studies targeting improvement in nutrition and feeding practices fathers are under-represented. Among possible explanations for this bias are acceptability of research projects and accessibility to male research participants. The aims of this study were to identify (i) fathers’ preferences for participation in child nutrition research and interventions and (ii) the potential to recruit fathers through their workplaces with the possibility of delivering interventions through those workplaces.


          This paper draws on two independent yet linked studies that explored fathers’ roles in family feeding, and intervention studies aimed at supporting father’s dietary knowledge and feeding practices. For Study 1 (conducted first) secondary data analysis was conducted on survey data ( n = 463 fathers of preschool children) to determine preferences related to type of program, delivery mode, and location and timing. For Study 2 six focus groups and one individual interview were conducted with n = 28 fathers to determine acceptability of recruitment of fathers working in traditionally blue-collar occupations and service industries (as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics) and potential of intervention delivery through their workplaces.


          Fathers were engaged in child feeding and indeed sought nutrition-related information. Fathers indicated a preference for family-focused and online delivery of interventions. Whilst potential to recruit through blue-collar workplaces was evident, participants were divided in their views about the acceptability of interventions conducted through the workplace. There was a sense of support for the logic of such interventions but the focus group participants in this study showed only modest enthusiasm for the idea.


          With limited support for the workplace as an intervention setting, further systematic exploration of technology-based intervention design and engagement is warranted. Based on findings, interventions should target a) content that is focused on the family and how to make changes at the family level, rather than the father individually; and b) online delivery, such as Apps or online video chat sessions, for convenience and to facilitate sharing of information with family members.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (10.1186/s12966-018-0702-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 37

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          A General Inductive Approach for Analyzing Qualitative Evaluation Data

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            Confirmatory factor analysis of the Child Feeding Questionnaire: a measure of parental attitudes, beliefs and practices about child feeding and obesity proneness.

            The Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ) is a self-report measure to assess parental beliefs, attitudes, and practices regarding child feeding, with a focus on obesity proneness in children. Confirmatory factor analysis tested a 7-factor model, which included four factors measuring parental beliefs related to child's obesity proneness, and three factors measuring parental control practices and attitudes regarding child feeding. Using a sample of 394 mothers and fathers, three models were tested, and the third model confirmed an acceptable fit, including correlated factors. Internal consistencies for the seven factors were above 0.70. With minor changes, this same 7-factor model was also confirmed in a second sample of 148 mothers and fathers, and a third sample of 126 Hispanic mothers and fathers. As predicted, four of the seven factors were related to an independent measure of children's weight status, providing initial support for the validity of the instrument. The CFQ can be used to assess aspects of child-feeding perceptions, attitudes, and practices and their relationships to children's developing food acceptance patterns, the controls of food intake, and obesity. The CFQ is designed for use with parents of children ranging in age from about 2 to 11 years of age. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.
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              Maternal employment and time with children: dramatic change or surprising continuity?

               S. Bianchi (2000)
              Despite the rapid rise in mothers' labor force participation, mothers' time with children has tended to be quite stable over time. In the past, nonemployed mothers' time with children was reduced by the demands of unpaid family work and domestic chores and by the use of mother substitutes for childcare, especially in large families. Today employed mothers seek ways to maximize time with children: They remain quite likely to work part-time or to exit from the labor force for some years when their children are young; they also differ from nonemployed mothers in other uses of time (housework, volunteer work, leisure). In addition, changes in children's lives (e.g., smaller families, the increase in preschool enrollment, the extended years of financial dependence on parents as more attend college) are altering the time and money investments that children require from parents. Within marriage, fathers are spending more time with their children than in the past, perhaps increasing the total time children spend with parents even as mothers work more hours away from home.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Centre for Children’s Health Research, 62 Graham Street (Level 6), South Brisbane, QLD 4101 Australia
                [2 ]ISNI 0000000089150953, GRID grid.1024.7, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, , Queensland University of Technology, ; Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Australia
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0000 9320 7537, GRID grid.1003.2, Institute for Social Science Research, , University of Queensland, ; 80 Meiers Rd, Indooroopilly, QLD 4068 Australia
                [4 ]ISNI 0000000089150953, GRID grid.1024.7, School of Counselling and Psychology, , Queensland University of Technology, ; Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Australia
                [5 ]ISNI 0000 0000 9939 5719, GRID grid.1029.a, School of Science and Health, , Western Sydney University, ; Sydney, Australia
                Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
                Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
                The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
                BioMed Central (London )
                11 July 2018
                11 July 2018
                : 15
                29996867 6042245 702 10.1186/s12966-018-0702-4
                © The Author(s). 2018

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                © The Author(s) 2018

                Nutrition & Dietetics

                preferences, fathers, feeding, nutrition, intervention


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