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Exploring the role of child temperament in children’s eating behaviours

School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

About the Project

Children’s consumption of vegetables is exceedingly low, with UK primary school children eating just 1.7 portions of vegetables a day, and a third eating less than one portion a day (Food Foundation, 2020). What’s more, vegetables are commonly rejected and make up almost half of foods disliked by children. As a diet rich in vegetables is important for lowering the risk of health harms such as obesity, asthma, and cardiovascular disease, this is a serious public health issue.

Previous research has identified several successful feeding practices which parents and caregivers can use to promote children’s consumption of vegetables, such as repeated exposure, modelling and offering rewards (such as stickers). However, two recent studies have identified that the success of such methods may be dependent on children’s temperament, such as how sociable or emotional they are.

This PhD therefore aims to further explore the role that children’s temperament plays in the success of feeding practices typically known to be beneficial for promoting children’s consumption of vegetables. This could be achieved through a combination of experimental, longitudinal and qualitative research methods.

This exciting research has the potential to generate new information on the nuances of promoting children’s consumption of vegetables, and to have real-world impact by facilitating the development of new support resources for caregivers.

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree in Psychology would be preferable, but other degrees relating to health could also be considered.

A relevant Master's degree and / or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Psychology, Health Psychology, Public Health, Nutrition, or similar.

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website:

How to apply

All applications should be made online:

Under school/department name, select 'Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences'. Please quote reference SSEHS/EH/CH.

The deadline for applications is 31 July 2021.

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