Communicating with parents of obese children: Which channels are most effective?

Randle, Melanie, Okely, Anthony D. and Dolnicar, Sara (2017) Communicating with parents of obese children: Which channels are most effective?. Health Expectations, 20 2: 349-360. doi:10.1111/hex.12463

Author Randle, Melanie
Okely, Anthony D.
Dolnicar, Sara
Title Communicating with parents of obese children: Which channels are most effective?
Journal name Health Expectations   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1369-7625
Publication date 2017-04-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/hex.12463
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 20
Issue 2
Start page 349
End page 360
Total pages 12
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
One of the strategies proven most successful in curbing rising rates of childhood obesity involves targeting parents as agents of change. Prior studies have focused on what messages to communicate, but few have investigated how they should be communicated.

To identify the channels most effective for communicating with parents of overweight and obese children and understand whether their use of parenting information sources differs from others in the community.


This study utilizes data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Families were included if weight and height information was available for parents and children at three data collection points: Waves 1, 2 and 4 (collected 2004, 2006 and 2010, respectively, n = 5107).

A priori and a posteriori segmentation methods identified groups of parents that were similar in the sources used to obtain information about parenting, and examined whether some segments were more likely to have obese children.

Four segments were identified that differed in their information source use: the ‘personal networks’, ‘books’, ‘official sources’ and ‘mixed approach’ segments. The ‘official sources’ and ‘mixed approach’ segments were most likely to have obese children, and they used doctors, government/community organizations and friends to obtain information on parenting. These segments were also less educated and had lower employment.

Messages are most likely to reach families with obese children if communicated through doctors, government publications and community organizations. Further, messages targeting social groupings of parents will leverage the power of advice from friends, which is another valuable information source for this group.
Keyword Child obesity
Public communications
Social marketing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
UQ Business School Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 10 May 2016, 13:29:17 EST by System User on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)