Attributes of parenting identities and food practices among parents in Nairobi, Kenya

Shiny Deepika Drew a, Christine E. Blake a, Ligia I. Reyes b, Wendy Gonzalez c, Eva C. Monterrosa c
a University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA
b Cornell University, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Ithaca, NY, 14850, USA
c Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Rue de Varemb´e 7, 1202, Geneva, Switzerland
Resource type:
Reports and discussion papers

Dramatic changes in daily life are leading to increased rates of obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCD) in Kenya, including among children. Parenting plays a vital role in helping children establish healthy eating habits to prevent obesity and NCDs. The objective of this study was to describe parenting identity and how attributes of parenting influence food parenting practices in an urban Kenyan context. A qualitative study design was employed with 18 participants recruited using quota sampling. The study findings illustrate the influence of modern urban lifestyles on food parenting identities and practices. Understanding emerging identities and practices in rapidly changing low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) contexts is essential for health promoting policies and programs. 

This study resulted in the identification of attributes of parenting identities in urban Kenya that involve merging of modern and traditional ways of being. Rapid changes in daily life among urban Kenyan parents has led to changes in the way people parent, including the way they feed their children. Understanding merging identities and practices is rapidly changing LMIC contexts essential for development of culturally sensitive health promotion policies and programs.

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This resource has been peer reviewed