CCCH art

Healthy eating and sociocultural influences on eating and physical activity

  • The aim of the study was to examine the socio-cultural, familial and environmental factors influencing health, eating habits and patterns of physical activity contributing to child and adolescent overweight and obesity.

    Methodology included a comprehensive search of electronic databases 1966 to 2001and qualitative studies of families and children of different cultural background and studies of migrant families settled in western countries were included.

    Evidence of two-way influences on eating and physical activity across three  generations was evident, with children reporting the greatest cross-cultural diversity. A range of dietary restrictions was reported across all cultural groups. Efforts to foster healthy eating and lifestyle patterns within communities were evident. Parents, as a generation in particular, felt the need for more access to education and support regarding healthy limits for pre-puberty and puberty stages.

    Methodology: Systematic review of literature
    Focus groups
    Date: Start: Dec 2002
    Finish: ongoing
    Funding: VicHealth
    Staff involved: Dr Elizabeth Waters


    Hesketh K, Waters E, Green J, Salmon L, Williams J. Healthy eating, activity and obesity prevention: a qualitative study of parent and child perceptions. Health Promotion International 2005; 20:19-26

    Green J, Waters E, Haikerwal A, O'Neill C, Raman S, Booth M, Gibbons K. Social, cultural and environmental influences on child activity and eating in Australian migrant communities. Child:Care, Health & Development 2003; 29(6):441-448


Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

The Centre for Community Child Health is a department of The Royal Children’s Hospital and a research group of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.