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Dietary patterns and their associations with home food availability among Finnish pre-school children: a cross-sectional study

  • Henna Vepsäläinen (a1), Liisa Korkalo (a1), Vera Mikkilä (a1), Reetta Lehto (a1) (a2), Carola Ray (a2), Kaija Nissinen (a1) (a3), Essi Skaffari (a1), Mikael Fogelholm (a1), Leena Koivusilta (a4), Eva Roos (a2) (a5) and Maijaliisa Erkkola (a1)...

Abstract

Objective

To study the associations between home food availability and dietary patterns among pre-school children.

Design

Cross-sectional study in which parents of the participating children filled in an FFQ and reported how often they had certain foods in their homes. We derived dietary pattern scores using principal component analysis, and composite scores describing the availability of fruits and vegetables as well as sugar-enriched foods in the home were created for each participant. We used multilevel models to investigate the associations between availability and dietary pattern scores.

Setting

The DAGIS study, Finland.

Subjects

The participants were 864 Finnish 3–6-year-old children recruited from sixty-six pre-schools. The analyses included 711 children with sufficient data.

Results

We identified three dietary patterns explaining 16·7 % of the variance. The patterns were named ‘sweets-and-treats’ (high loadings of e.g. sweet biscuits, chocolate, ice cream), ‘health-conscious’ (high loadings of e.g. nuts, natural yoghurt, berries) and ‘vegetables-and-processed meats’ (high loadings of e.g. vegetables, cold cuts, fruit). In multivariate models, the availability of fruits and vegetables was inversely associated with the sweets-and-treats pattern (β=−0·05, P<0·01) and positively associated with the health-conscious (β=0·07, P<0·01) and vegetables-and-processed meats patterns (β=0·06, P<0·01). The availability of sugar-enriched foods was positively associated with the sweets-and-treats pattern (β=0·10, P<0·01) and inversely associated with the health-conscious pattern (β=−0·03, P<0·01).

Conclusions

Considering dietary patterns, the availability of sugar-enriched foods in the home seems to have a stronger role than that of fruits and vegetables. Parents should restrict the availability of unhealthy foods in the home.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email henna.vepsalainen@helsinki.fi

References

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Dietary patterns and their associations with home food availability among Finnish pre-school children: a cross-sectional study

  • Henna Vepsäläinen (a1), Liisa Korkalo (a1), Vera Mikkilä (a1), Reetta Lehto (a1) (a2), Carola Ray (a2), Kaija Nissinen (a1) (a3), Essi Skaffari (a1), Mikael Fogelholm (a1), Leena Koivusilta (a4), Eva Roos (a2) (a5) and Maijaliisa Erkkola (a1)...

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