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The relationship between children’s home food environment and dietary patterns in childhood and adolescence

  • Carine Vereecken (a1) (a2), Leen Haerens (a1) (a3), Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij (a3) and Lea Maes (a2)

Abstract

Objective

To identify the correlates of the home food environment (parents’ intake, availability and food-related parenting practices) at the age of 10 years with dietary patterns during childhood and in adolescence.

Setting

Primary-school children of fifty-nine Flemish elementary schools completed a questionnaire at school in 2002. Four years later they completed a questionnaire by e-mail or mail at home. Their parents completed a questionnaire on food-related parenting practices at baseline.

Design

Longitudinal study.

Subjects

The analyses included 609 matched questionnaires.

Statistics

Multi-level regression analyses were used to identify baseline parenting practices (pressure, reward, negotiation, catering on demand, permissiveness, verbal praise, avoiding negative modelling, availability of healthy/unhealthy food items and mothers’ fruit and vegetable (F&V) and excess scores) associated with children’s dietary patterns (F&V and excess scores).

Results

Mother’s F&V score was a significant positive independent predictor for children’s F&V score at baseline and follow-up, whereas availability of unhealthy foods was significantly negatively associated with both scores. Negotiation was positively associated with children’s follow-up score of F&V, while permissiveness was positively associated with children’s follow-up excess score. Availability of unhealthy foods and mother’s excess score were positively related to children’s excess score at baseline and follow-up.

Conclusions

Parental intake and restricting the availability of unhealthy foods not only appeared to have a consistent impact on children’s and adolescents’ diets, but also negotiating and less permissive food-related parenting practices may improve adolescents’ diets.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email Carine.Vereecken@UGent.be

References

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