While the discussions on ST and SD consumption addressed similar themes (i.e. in terms of attitudes, interactions and behavior patterns), the nature of the attitudes and adolescent-parent interactions were quite different for each of these behaviors. Overall, neither parents nor adolescents expressed strong personal concern about adolescents' SD consumption, yet adolescents' ST elicited considerable concern amongst parents and was associated with family conflicts. Thus, these different behaviors had quite different emotional salience to parents and adolescents. Research with parents and adolescents has described a complex mix of factors, such as social expectations and marketing, parenting style and ability to say 'no', and communication taboos, that mediate perceptions and communications about weight ; some of which may be at play in this study.
Findings from this study that parents feel able to limit their children's access to SDs appear encouraging, given that previous research indicates that the home environment is critical in shaping children's dietary and activity behaviors [17, 28, 29], and that adolescents themselves recognize the importance of the home environment in influencing their behaviors . However, there may be some discrepancy between parents' low level of personal concern and adolescents' actual consumption . This mismatch, where 'treats' may in fact be consumed frequently, poses a barrier for change and needs to be anticipated in any communications or family interventions .
On the other hand, the extent to which parents felt unable to control their children's ST was concerning. For example, parents described how they had given up trying to limit ST, as a result of failed or negative interactions. Nevertheless, adolescents indicated that enforced rules were an appropriate control strategy. Comparing the adolescent and parent responses suggests that parental rules about ST are likely to lead to conflict, unless perhaps if rules are established when children are younger. No-one mentioned the use of TV time monitors or similar devices as a method for monitoring or enforcing rules.
While role modeling was mentioned in relation to SDs in both parent and adolescent groups, the limited emotional engagement with the topic suggests that its influence on adolescents continues to be under-estimated, especially by parents . Research has highlighted that parents can be positive role models with their adolescent children in regard to weight-related behaviors [17, 29, 31]. There appears to be scope to promote the significance of role modeling and its applicability to influencing both SD consumption and ST to parents, through parent-targeted health communications and skill-based parenting interventions.
The low level of awareness of health recommendations and guidelines on recreational ST, and the dismissive response to the idea of guidelines, suggests that this guideline challenges public views and actual practices, which is consistent with findings from US qualitative research  and the context where Australian and North American family households have high access to electronic media. Recent data shows that 99% of Australian households with young people (8-17 years) have at least one television set, 98% have at least one computer or laptop, 97% a DVD player and 91% have an internet connection . Clearly the health reasons for ST recreation guidelines, such as the association between recreational ST and fitness, is an important underpinning that should be featured in public health interventions and communications .
The typical roles that adolescents and parents play in relation to each other, with disagreements over everyday issues and struggles around control , were apparent in this study, even though the parents and adolescents were not related to each other and the group discussions were held separately. In this study parents frequently expressed issues in relation to their ability to control adolescents' behavior, and adolescents frequently asserted their independence from parental controls. While both positions correspond to an accepted public image, they also provide a reminder that any health communications and skill-based parenting interventions related to adolescents must always recognize and respond to this fundamental dynamic.
Overall, the study shows that there is scope to influence adolescents through their home environment and parental use of positive strategies, such as setting and applying defensible rules, limiting access and availability and role modeling. While an exploratory study, the findings suggest directions for health communication messages to parents and the value of structured parenting interventions, which typically focus on parents' understanding and acceptance of adolescent development as well as communication and listening skills .
While the study was generally successful in recruiting people from lower socioeconomic areas, there was difficulty in recruiting and retaining some participants from the most disadvantaged areas. The use of market research company recruitment methods may have limited contacts with people from low socio-economic backgrounds, although most eligible households are known to have internet access  and the purposive targeting of low SES areas meant that any potential bias was redressed. The study participants came from backgrounds that were fairly representative of the Australian population; although like many research studies, the views of the most disadvantaged, Aboriginal people or a wide range of people from culturally and linguistically diverse cultures are not comprehensively represented. Further research targeting these groups is required to investigate their particular environmental, cultural and material circumstances. While there is some possibility that participants were more health conscious than their peers, the recruitment information referred to 'lifestyle' rather than 'health' and health did not appear as a dominating theme. Overall, this study was successful in recruiting adolescents and parents from low and middle SES areas, with a particular strength in the participation of fathers, given that they are often under-represented.
The focus group design itself may have incurred some limitations, especially in relation to adolescents, who displayed a limited degree of 'conversational competency' in some cases  and tended to produce socially expected responses. However, it is important to understand and respond to these public views in designing communication and other interventions. Deeper understanding on specific issues, such as discrepancies between parents' level of concern and adolescents' actual behaviors, in relation to both SD and ST, would require additional research using a mix of methods, with related parent and adolescent participants.
Nevertheless, the study provides an initial exploration and offers insights regarding topics rarely explored in relation to adolescents, yet which frequently occur within the family and home environment, are known to be linked to risk of weight gain, and are discrete behaviors that are potentially amenable to change. The findings complement previous qualitative research with parents of younger children  and adolescents , as well as quantitative studies on these topics (for example [10, 12, 17, 20]), thus providing guidance on angles and perspectives that can be used by policy makers, health practitioners and researchers to guide interventions and other health communications.