The aim of the project is to explore portion size guidance for one to five year olds. To review the current portion size guidance, to explore whether 1-5-year olds meet the portion size recommendations and to understand how parents make decision about portion sizes for their young children.
In England, almost a quarter of reception children are overweight or obese. Portion size is a critical driver of weight gain in children aged up to five years. However, parents are often unsure of what an age-appropriate portion sizes should be for their children.
A mixed methods approach was chosen to explore different aspects of the portion size guidance. A systematic grey literature review to identify and review current guidance resources. Secondary data analyses of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey to assess whether 1-5-year olds meet portion size recommendations and to explore potential eating contexts and individual characteristics, which may put children at higher risk of consuming larger portion sizes. A qualitative study, interviewing first-time parents of 1-2-year olds to understand how they decide the portion sizes for their child and their views on the current guidance resources.
Public Involvement (PI) groups of parents with 1-5-year olds have been involved in developing the interview topic guide and recruitment materials for the qualitative study, to ensure the study is interesting and important to participants. These PI groups will be involved in developing dissemination materials to the participating parents and other relevant groups.
The findings of each study will be published in academic journals for the research community and written up as blogs for the public. Qualitative study findings will be sent to participating parents.
Porter, A., Kipping, R., Summerbell, C., Dobrescu, A. and Johnson, L., 2020. What guidance is there on portion size for feeding preschool‐aged children (1 to 5 years) in the United Kingdom and Ireland? A systematic grey literature review. Obesity Reviews.