Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Health and Society


Background: Poor dietary habits are one of the determinants for mortality, Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) and non-communicable diseases globally. Children’s dietary behaviours and food preferences are multifactorial and as children grow, other factors such as the retail food environment impacts children’s eating behaviours and food preferences. Children’s exposure to food marketing cues such as the supermarket layout, product displays and in-store promotions increases their awareness of, desire for and intention to buy promoted products. This leads to disruptive request behaviour (or ‘pester power’). Food requests from children are predominantly unhealthy, and often result in conflict between parent and child. Studies have explored the parent-child relationship whilst in the supermarket and the extent and nature of children’s request behaviours, resulting in recommendations for interventions. Research are needed to design and evaluate health promotion interventions to entice children to request more nutritious foods and fewer low-nutrient, high-calorie food/ beverage products.

Aim: The aim of this research was to create and pilot a theory-driven health promotion intervention to improve 8-12 years old children’s healthy food selections in the food retail sector, empower children as agents of change and to improve parenting skills in navigating the supermarket environment with children. Stage 1 of the research aimed to understand children’s request behaviours in the supermarket and identify strategies parents use to navigate the shopping experience with children. Based on this information, Stage 2 developed a theory-informed health promotion intervention. Stage 3 undertook a pilot of the intervention to assess its potential to improve children’s request behaviours and parents’ skills in dealing with and reorienting children’s requests to healthier options in the supermarket...

This thesis is unavailable until Friday, April 08, 2022



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.