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Relationship between perception of emotional home atmosphere and fruit and vegetable consumption in European adolescents: results from the I.Family survey

  • Hadil A Ghazy Elsayed (a1), Lauren Lissner (a1), Kirsten Mehlig (a1), Barbara Franziska Thumann (a2) (a3), Antje Hebestreit (a2), Valeria Pala (a4), Toomas Veidebaum (a5), Tonia Solea (a6), Luis Moreno (a7), Dénes Molnár (a8), Ratih Wirapuspita Wisnuwardani (a3), Fabio Lauria (a9), Monica Hunsberger (a1) and on behalf of the IDEFICS and I.Family consortia (a1) (a2) (a4) (a5) (a6) (a7) (a8) (a3) (a9)...

Abstract

Objective:

Consumption of fruits and vegetables (F&V) among adolescents falls below recommendations in many Western countries. The impact of social and emotional aspects of family life on adolescent dietary behaviour may contribute to this, yet remains under-investigated. The present study examines the association between adolescents’ perceptions of emotional home atmosphere (EHA) and their F&V consumption frequency.

Design:

An FFQ was used to assess F&V consumption frequency. EHA was assessed by an eight-item measure with three subscales: perceived home warmth, strictness and relational tension. EHA subscales were used as binary variables: a score equal to or above the median value was considered as a higher perception, while a score below the median was considered as a lower perception of the EHA in question. Country differences in meeting the European 5-a-day recommendations were described. Further, the association between EHA and F&V consumption frequency was investigated using multiple linear regression.

Setting:

Regional examination centres in eight European countries.

Participants:

Adolescents (n 3196) aged 12–18 years.

Results:

The mean F&V consumption frequency was 3·27 (sd 2·84) times/d. Only 16·1 % of boys and 18 % of girls in our study sample met the recommendation of five F&V daily. After controlling for age, sex, education level of the parents and country of origin, perceived home warmth was associated with a 16 (95 % CI 9, 22) % higher F&V consumption frequency (P < 0·001).

Conclusions:

F&V consumption frequency was suboptimal in the survey areas. Interventions targeting perceived warmth as a component of EHA could potentially have a positive effect on adolescents’ dietary behaviour.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email monica.hunsberger@gu.se

References

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