Associations between maternal concern for healthful eating and maternal eating behaviors, home food availability, and adolescent eating behaviors.
OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the relationship between maternal concern for healthful eating and maternal and adolescent dietary intake, eating behavior, and home food environment. DESIGN: Mothers of a subsample of adolescents who participated in a school-based survey (Project Eating Among Teens [EAT]) completed telephone interviews. PARTICIPANTS: Seven hundred fourteen mother-adolescent pairs. VARIABLES MEASURED: Mothers responded to a question regarding how much they are personally concerned with eating healthfully, and adolescents responded to a question regarding perceptions of their mothers' concern about eating healthfully. Dependent variables included adolescent and parent food intake and home food environment. ANALYSIS: Multinomial cumulative logistic regression models, adjusted for maternal race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status (SES), and adolescent grade level. RESULTS: A positive association was found between maternal concern for healthful eating and maternal fruit and vegetable intake, maternal breakfast and lunch consumption, and serving fruits and vegetables in the home. Maternal concern for healthful eating (as reported by mothers) was not associated with adolescent behavior. Adolescent perception of maternal concern for healthful eating was positively associated with adolescent fruit and vegetable intake. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Mother's concern for healthful eating is associated with maternal eating behavior and the home food environment. Adolescent perceptions of maternal attitudes are a stronger predictor than actual maternal attitudes of adolescent behavior. Parents should be encouraged to share their beliefs regarding the importance of healthful eating with their adolescents.
Boutelle, KN; Birkeland, RW; Hannan, PJ; Story, M; Neumark-Sztainer, D
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