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Mothers’ self-reported grocery shopping behaviours with their 2- to 7-year-old children: relationship between feeding practices and mothers’ willingness to purchase child-requested nutrient-poor, marketed foods, and fruits and vegetables

  • Kathryn Lively (a1), Oluborode Babawale (a2), David M Thompson (a2), Amanda S Morris (a3), Jennifer L Harris (a4), Susan B Sisson (a1), Marshall K Cheney (a5) and Karina R Lora (a6)...
Abstract
Objective

To assess relationships between mothers’ feeding practices (food as a reward, food for emotion regulation, modelling of healthy eating) and mothers’ willingness to purchase child-marketed foods and fruits/vegetables (F&V) requested by their children during grocery co-shopping.

Design

Cross-sectional. Mothers completed an online survey that included questions about feeding practices and willingness (i.e. intentions) to purchase child-requested foods during grocery co-shopping. Feeding practices scores were dichotomized at the median. Foods were grouped as nutrient-poor or nutrient-dense (F&V) based on national nutrition guidelines. Regression models compared mothers with above-the-median v. at-or-below-the-median feeding practices scores on their willingness to purchase child-requested food groupings, adjusting for demographic covariates.

Setting

Participants completed an online survey generated at a public university in the USA.

Subjects

Mothers (n 318) of 2- to 7-year-old children.

Results

Mothers who scored above-the-median on using food as a reward were more willing to purchase nutrient-poor foods (β=0·60, P<0·0001), mothers who scored above-the-median on use of food for emotion regulation were more willing to purchase nutrient-poor foods (β=0·29, P<0·0031) and mothers who scored above-the-median on modelling of healthy eating were more willing to purchase nutrient-dense foods (β=0·22, P<0·001) than were mothers with at-or-below-the-median scores, adjusting for demographic covariates.

Conclusions

Mothers who reported using food to control children’s behaviour were more willing to purchase child-requested, nutrient-poor foods. Parental feeding practices may facilitate or limit children’s foods requested in grocery stores. Parent–child food consumer behaviours should be investigated as a route that may contribute to children’s eating patterns.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Email lora@uchc.edu
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