Research Topic

Healthy Eating and Parenting Messages to Prevent Obesity

About this Research Topic

National food and dietary guidelines translate science into guidance for professional audiences who, in turn, help people to meet nutrient recommendations, promote health, and prevent diet-related chronic disease. Upstream, guidelines are established by scientific committees with the intent of informing downstream communications or messages from clinicians, educators, and marketers to parents, children, patients, and consumers. Guidelines historically address what and how much to eat but messages about where, when, why, and how to eat or feed children have emerged in current national guidelines. Recognition that healthy eating is influenced by habits, culture, and context is warranted to better support behavior change for health promotion and disease prevention.

Despite the similarity in the messages about what and how much to eat among higher-income countries, there is considerable variability in other messages and may reflect less consistent knowledge of their direct and systematic effects. The purpose of this Research Topic is to review evidence about messages that address where, when, why, and how to eat or feed children with the intent to support healthy eating and prevent obesity. This Research Topic is intended to inform future policy guidance, identify research gaps, and inform of translation of evidence to practice to better advance public health objectives related to healthy childhood weight.

This Research Topic seeks original research with themes related to messages that communicate where to eat, when to eat, why to eat, and how to eat for childhood obesity prevention. Parenting messages focusing on where, when, why, and how to feed are also of interest. Lifestyle messaging, message framing, and cultural adaptations are relevant topics. Lessons that emerge from implementing messages in high-income countries, in varied settings with outcomes measured at the individual- or family-level are of interest. For example, in home settings, parents may communicate messages as rules to their children. In clinical settings, messages may be integrated with patient-reported outcomes for preventative care. In educational settings, messages may be integrated into the curriculum. In the public-domain, messages may be disseminated in public programs and campaigns or via social media and targeted marketing. Examples are not exhaustive; other settings and implementation strategies are welcome. Manuscripts that rigorously evaluate proximal (responsive parenting, self-efficacy, eating competency, attitude, intention), behavioral, and/or health outcomes are highly preferred and may include qualitative, mixed methods, and quantitative analyses.


Keywords: Health communication, Outcome assessment, Feeding behavior, Parenting, Health education


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

National food and dietary guidelines translate science into guidance for professional audiences who, in turn, help people to meet nutrient recommendations, promote health, and prevent diet-related chronic disease. Upstream, guidelines are established by scientific committees with the intent of informing downstream communications or messages from clinicians, educators, and marketers to parents, children, patients, and consumers. Guidelines historically address what and how much to eat but messages about where, when, why, and how to eat or feed children have emerged in current national guidelines. Recognition that healthy eating is influenced by habits, culture, and context is warranted to better support behavior change for health promotion and disease prevention.

Despite the similarity in the messages about what and how much to eat among higher-income countries, there is considerable variability in other messages and may reflect less consistent knowledge of their direct and systematic effects. The purpose of this Research Topic is to review evidence about messages that address where, when, why, and how to eat or feed children with the intent to support healthy eating and prevent obesity. This Research Topic is intended to inform future policy guidance, identify research gaps, and inform of translation of evidence to practice to better advance public health objectives related to healthy childhood weight.

This Research Topic seeks original research with themes related to messages that communicate where to eat, when to eat, why to eat, and how to eat for childhood obesity prevention. Parenting messages focusing on where, when, why, and how to feed are also of interest. Lifestyle messaging, message framing, and cultural adaptations are relevant topics. Lessons that emerge from implementing messages in high-income countries, in varied settings with outcomes measured at the individual- or family-level are of interest. For example, in home settings, parents may communicate messages as rules to their children. In clinical settings, messages may be integrated with patient-reported outcomes for preventative care. In educational settings, messages may be integrated into the curriculum. In the public-domain, messages may be disseminated in public programs and campaigns or via social media and targeted marketing. Examples are not exhaustive; other settings and implementation strategies are welcome. Manuscripts that rigorously evaluate proximal (responsive parenting, self-efficacy, eating competency, attitude, intention), behavioral, and/or health outcomes are highly preferred and may include qualitative, mixed methods, and quantitative analyses.


Keywords: Health communication, Outcome assessment, Feeding behavior, Parenting, Health education


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

03 January 2022 Abstract
15 May 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

03 January 2022 Abstract
15 May 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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