Artigo em revista científica Q1
Parental perceptions and practices regarding sugar intake by school-aged children: A qualitative study with Portuguese parents
Marília Prada (Prada, M.); Magda Saraiva (Saraiva, M.); Cristina A. Godinho (Godinho, C. A.); Bárbara Tourais (Tourais, B.); Bernardo Pereira Cavalheiro (Cavalheiro, B.); Margarida Garrido (Garrido, M. V.);
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Ano (publicação definitiva)
Países Baixos (Holanda)
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Excessive sugar intake is one of the factors contributing to the alarming rates of childhood obesity and overweight in Portugal. Children's preferences and food consumption patterns are largely determined by the foods that are more familiar to them. Parents and caregivers are responsible for shaping children's eating habits since they are the ones who choose the food available in the household. The present study explores parental perceptions about sugar and sugar intake and its consequences on children's health. Moreover, we also examined the practices that parents use to regulate their children's diet, namely, to promote the consumption of desired foods (e.g., vegetables) and limit the intake of undesired food (e.g., sweets), and the perceived barriers and facilitators of sugar intake regulation. To this end, 42 interviews were conducted with parents of school-aged children (ages 6–10 years). A thematic analysis revealed that parents perceive sugar as highly negative (e.g., “evil”, “poison”, “addiction”) and its consumption as harmful (e.g., hyperactivity; overweight). Nonetheless, the view that sugary food consumption is not necessarily problematic was also common. Indeed, most parents considered that sugar intake should be regulated but not forbidden. To control the intake of sugary foods (e.g., sodas, cookies), they reported using strategies such as restriction, explanation, or negotiation. Several barriers to sugar intake regulation were identified (e.g., birthday parties, parents' lack of knowledge), but also a few facilitators (e.g., bringing food from home to school). Our findings may inform the development of interventions or policies to promote healthier eating habits in school-age children.
Sugar intake,Parental perceptions,Children,Strategies,Barriers
  • Ciências da Saúde - Ciências Médicas
  • Psicologia - Ciências Sociais
Registos de financiamentos
Referência de financiamento Entidade Financiadora
LISBOA-01-0145- FEDER-028008 Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
UIDB/03125/2020 Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
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