Adolescent-led strategies within the home to promote healthy eating and physical activity

Bridget C. Foley, Seema Mihrshahi, Vanessa A. Shrewbury, Smita Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: This study aimed to identify barriers, facilitators and potential intervention strategies for adolescents to use within the home to promote healthy eating and active living.

Design: Cross-sectional design using semi-structured discussion groups.

Setting: Peer leaders (aged 15–16 years) from five secondary schools in Sydney, Australia, were invited to participate.

Methods: In groups of four to nine, peer leaders completed a worksheet focused on three priority behaviours: eating breakfast daily, avoiding sugary drinks and being physically active. Each group discussed, identified and recorded barriers, facilitators and opportunities where they could act as agents of healthy lifestyle change in their homes. The worksheets and field notes were reviewed, analysed and coded into emergent themes.

Results: All peer leaders (n = 77; 51% girls) attending school on the day of the discussion groups participated in this study. They identified a variety of barriers and facilitators for each of the priority behaviours. From the adolescent-generated strategies, such as not having sugary drinks in the fridge, making a routine and cooking or being active with the whole family, three main themes emerged: ‘improving time management’, ‘using social activities to engage family members’ and ‘changing access and availability’.

Conclusion: The strategies suggested by peer leaders in this study add to the limited literature of potential low-intensity interventions which young people can use to enable healthy lifestyle change in their home environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-148
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number2
Early online date31 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescence
  • dietary behaviour
  • environment
  • family
  • home
  • physical activity behaviour


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