3rd year PhD presentation - Tija Rageliene

Peers’, siblings’ and social media influence on children’s healthy eating behaviour

2021.06.04 | Vibeke Vrang

Date Wed 23 Jun
Time 14:30 16:00
Location 2628-303, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University

On 23 June at 14:30, there will be a 3rd year PhD presentation by Tija Rageliene entitled: 

Peers’, siblings’ and social media influence on children’s healthy eating behaviour

Supervisors: Alice Grønhøj & Jessica Aschemann-Witzel 
Discussants: Marco Hubert & Liisa Lähteenmäki


The growing rates of childhood obesity call for finding new ways to prevent it and for promoting healthy eating among young consumers. Eating is more than a physiological act, it is also a social activity. But how can social influences affect children’s healthy eating behaviour and food choices? 

In my 3rd year PhD presentation, I argue for the importance of the social influence of peers, siblings, and social media on children’s healthy eating socialization and suggest recommendations for encouraging healthy food choices among young consumers. Based on the findings of a mixed-methods approach from four scientific publications, I demonstrate that peers’ and siblings’ influence can be positive or negative for children’s healthy eating, and that this will often depend on the contexts in which eating behaviour takes place. Second, I show that peers’ influence on children’s eating behaviour works through injunctive social norms, and that the quality of children’s relationship with peers determines these relations. Third, I discuss how social media contribute to children’s eating behaviour by exposing children to food and drink products shown on social media platforms that are frequently used by children to interact with peers and share experiences. Finally, I introduce a newly developed and empirically tested smartphone app-based intervention and suggest strategies for how it can be used to promote healthy eating among young consumers. 

Based on the knowledge presented in this dissertation, theoretical and practical implications for policymakers, health care professionals, food marketers and other parties interested in promoting children’s healthy eating behaviour and healthy food choices among young consumers are suggested.

Everyone is welcome!

PhD Event