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Table 3 Characteristics of participants’ personalised habit goals and frequency of sub-optimal goals, by feeding domain

From: Putting habit into practice, and practice into habit: a process evaluation and exploration of the acceptability of a habit-based dietary behaviour change intervention

Characteristic Observed values Verbatim examples Observed frequency
(* = prejudged to be suboptimal)
    FV goals Snack goals Drink goals
(n = 54) (n = 56) (n = 53)
Characteristics of target behaviours   `To give my child...’ n (%) n (%) n (%)
1. Number of target behaviours a. One behaviour a. `... a bottle of water after school’ 51 (94.4%) 52 (92.9%) 29 (54.7%)
b. Two behaviours* b. `... milk in the morning and more water’ 3 (5.6%) 4 (7.1%) 19 (35.8%)
c. Three behaviours* c. `... juice with breakfast, water with lunch and dinner and milk at bedtime’ 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (9.4%)
  Total suboptimal goals 3 (5.6%) 4 (7.0%) 24 (45.3%)
2. Frequency of target behaviour a. Once a day a. `... a healthy afternoon snack’ 49 (90.7%) 43 (76.8%) 10 (18.9%)
b. Twice a day or more b. `... one vegetable with lunch and one with dinner’ 2 (3.7%) 3 (5.4%) 6 (11.3%)
c. Unclear or unspecified* c. `... extra water during the day’ 3 (5.6%) 10 (17.9%) 37 (69.8%)
  Total suboptimal goals 3 (5.6%) 10 (17.9%) 37 (69.8%)
3. Behaviour specified in absolute or relative terms a. Absolute a. `... two vegetables with dinner’ 50 (92.6%) 53 (94.6%) 29 (54.7%)
b. Relative* b. `... more water’ 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 8 (15.1%)
c. Combination of absolute and relative (where multiple behaviours specified) c. `...one glass of fruit juice a day and more water’ 4 (7.4%) 2 (3.6%) 16 (30.2%)
d. Unclear* d. `To choose a healthy snack from the list’ 0 (0%) 1 (1.8%) 0 (0%)
  Total suboptimal goals 0 (0%) 1 (1.8%) 8 (15.1%)
4. Increase or decrease in target behaviour a. Increase in healthy behaviour a. `... more water’ 54 (100%) 52 (92.9%) 22 (41.5%)
b. Decrease in unhealthy behaviour* b. `... less fruit juice’ 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (7.5%)
c. Combination of increase in healthy and decrease in unhealthy behaviour (where multiple behaviours specified) c. `... less milk and squash and more water’ 0 (0%) 4 (7.1%) 24 (45.3%)
d. Unclear or unspecified* d. `... one cup of milk’ 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (5.7%)
  Total suboptimal goals 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 7 (13.2%)
Characteristic of context      
5. Type of cue a. Time of day* a. `... a healthy snack at 3 pm’ 9 (16.7%) 28 (50.0%) 1 (1.9%)
b. During or after a meal b. `... two vegetables with dinner’ 40 (74.1%) 0 (0%) 9 (17.0%)
c. During or after any other event c. `... a bottle of water after nursery’ 3 (5.6%) 10 (17.9%) 7 (13.2%)
d. As a substitute for less healthy food d. `... water instead of milk during the day’ 1 (1.9%) 1 (1.8%) 7 (13.2%)
e. None specified* e. `... a cup of milk every day’ 1 (1.9%) 17 (30.4%) 34 (64.2%)
  Total suboptimal goals 10 (17.9%) 45 (80.4%) 35 (66.0%)
Total `goal suboptimality’ score**   0 (non-suboptimal) 39 (72.2%) 9 (16.1%) 7 (13.2%)
   1 14 (25.9%) 36 (54.3%) 13 (24.5%)
   2 1 (1.9%) 9 (16.1%) 8 (15.1%)
   3 0 (0%) 2 (3.6%) 20 (37.7%)
   4 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (9.4%)
   5 (most suboptimal) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
  1. Unless otherwise specified, all goals followed the words `to give my child...’ or equivalent. Emphases added. *Value deemed suboptimal for habit formation. **`Suboptimality’ scores indicate the number of the five characteristics above on which the goal was deemed to be suboptimal.