Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Jones, SC, McVie, D and Noble, G, Parents' inferences about other parents' motives for food choices for children: a pilot study, in Purchase, S (ed), Proceedings for the ANZMAC Conference, University of Western Australia, 2005.


The traditional approach to improving children’s diets has been to educate parents about the importance of healthy food choices. However, it is recognized that knowledge does not necessarily lead to improved food choices. This study used an indirect measure to investigate the underlying reasons for parents’ decisions about their children’s diets. We found a significant difference in parents’ perceptions of a hypothetical mother on items that related directly to food choices. It appears from these results that parents do indeed make value judgments about the food choices that mothers make for their children. Our results suggest that indirect question techniques, such as those used in these studies, may be useful in determining the underlying reasons for parents’ food choices for their children.