Ranked Importance of Childhood Obesity Determinants: Parents' Views Across Ethnicities in New Zealand
Māori, Pacific, Indian, and New Zealand European pre-school children's caregivers' views on determinants of childhood obesity are needed to inform strategies that will reduce disparities in prevalence. Nineteen focus groups were conducted to explore the relative influence of factors contributing to body weight in children. Predetermined and participant-suggested factors were ranked. Discussion data were inductively analysed. The cost of healthy foods was the highest ranked factor across all groups. Ranked similarly were ease of access to takeaways and lack of time for food preparation. Cultural factors followed by screen time induced sedentariness in children and lack of time to ensure children exercised was next. Participant-raised factors included lack of familial, social, and health promotion support, and others' behaviour and attitudes negatively impacting what children ate. All groups rejected stereotyping that blamed culture for higher obesity rates. Compared to the Māori and NZ European groups, the Pacific Island and Indian participants spoke of losing culture, missing extended family support, and not having access to culturally appropriate nutrition education or social support and services. Public health policies need to mitigate the negative effects of economic deprivation on food insecurity. Complementary interventions that increase access to healthier meal choices more often are needed.