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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 306306, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/306306
Research Article

Promotion and Prevention Focused Feeding Strategies: Exploring the Effects on Healthy and Unhealthy Child Eating

UiS Business School, University of Stavanger, 4036 Stavanger, Norway

Received 21 November 2014; Revised 10 February 2015; Accepted 26 February 2015

Academic Editor: Nana Kwame Anokye

Copyright © 2015 Elisabeth L. Melbye and Håvard Hansen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

There is a general lack of research addressing the motivations behind parental use of various feeding practices. Therefore, the present work aims to extend the current literature on parent-child feeding interactions by integrating the traditional developmental psychological perspective on feeding practices with elements of Regulatory Focus Theory (RFT) derived from the field of motivational psychology. In this paper, we seek to explain associations between parental feeding practices and child (un)healthy eating behaviors by categorizing parental feeding practices into promotion and prevention focused strategies, thus exploring parent-child feeding interactions within the framework of RFT. Our analyses partly supported the idea that (1) child healthy eating is positively associated with feeding practices characterized as promotion focused, and (2) child unhealthy eating is negatively associated with feeding practices characterized as prevention focused. However, a general observation following from our results suggests that parents’ major driving forces behind reducing children’s consumption of unhealthy food items and increasing their consumption of healthy food items are strategies that motivate rather than restrict. In particular, parents’ provision of a healthy home food environment seems to be essential for child eating.