Poster Presentation Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of NZ and the Nutrition Society of Australia

Young men’s motivators and barriers to healthy eating and their preferences for a healthy eating intervention (#P57)

Lee Ashton 1 , Melinda Hutchesson 1 , Megan Rollo 1 , Philip Morgan 1 , Clare Collins 1
  1. University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia

Background/Aims: Young men are under-represented in nutrition research, with a lack of understanding of how to reach and engage them in interventions. Therefore the aims were to explore young men’s motivators and barriers to healthy eating, and their preferences for a healthy eating intervention. 

Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was completed by young Australian men (18-25yrs) in July 2015.

Results: Preliminary results (n=220) show key motivators for healthy eating were to improve: health (28.1% ranked as top motivator); body image (18.1%) and sports performance (10.4%). Whilst key barriers to healthy eating included: perceived accessibility of unhealthy foods (22.7% ranked as top barrier), lack of time to cook/prepare healthy foods (19.5%), and high cost of healthy foods (16.4%). The preferred delivery methods were via website (36.1%) followed by mobile apps (25.0%), face-to-face in a group setting (21.7%) and face-to-face in a one-on-one setting (12.0%). Young men would prefer a median (IQR) of 4 face-to-face sessions per month (2-4) and an intervention length of 3 months (2-6) was favoured. 

Conclusions: Early results have shown unique motivators and barriers for young men which have not been identified in other population groups i.e. to improve sport performance and restricted by perceived accessibility of unhealthy foods. Despite most young men choosing web-site as the preferred delivery mode, it was not unanimous and thus future research may look to explore preferences by different sub-groups of young men.

Funding Source: 3D Healing Walk grant provided by Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI).