Winzenberg, TM and Hansen, EC and Jones, G, How do women change osteoporosis-preventive behaviours in their children?, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 62, (3) pp. 379-385. ISSN 0954-3007 (2008) [Refereed Article]
Objective: We have reported that a lifestyle intervention with mothers improved calcium intake and physical activity in both mothers and their children. In this study, we aimed to describe the strategies and approaches used by these mothers to improve their children's calcium intake and physical activity. Design: A qualitative study using semistructured interviews. Setting: Population-based convenience sample. Subjects: A subsample of 39 mothers were taken from a population-based random sample of 354 mothers who had participated in the original osteoporosis-prevention trial. Results: Mothers described specific dietary changes they made to increase their children's calcium intake. They also described strategies for improving calcium intake and physical activity such as raising awareness of the importance of calcium; ensuring calcium-rich foods were accessible; assessing their children's likes and dislikes and working within these; role modelling; information provision; taking a balanced approach to attempting behaviour change; and encouraging activities that they could do with their children. Mothers emphasized the general importance of a balanced diet and lifestyle, rather than just focussing on lifestyle factors specific to osteoporosis prevention. Conclusion: Even without specific guidance, mothers are adept at developing strategies to apply to changing lifestyle behaviours in their children and identifying barriers to change. These results provide information, which could be incorporated into future interventions for lifestyle change in children and also provide further support for considering parent-focused approaches to this problem.
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