Parent health literacy and "obesogenic" feeding and physical activity-related infant care behaviors.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between parent health literacy and "obesogenic" infant care behaviors. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a cluster randomized controlled trial of a primary care-based early childhood obesity prevention program (Greenlight). English- and Spanish-speaking parents of 2-month-old children were enrolled (n = 844). The primary predictor variable was parent health literacy (Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults; adequate ≥ 23; low <23). Primary outcome variables involving self-reported obesogenic behaviors were: (1) feeding content (more formula than breast milk, sweet drinks, early solid food introduction), and feeding style-related behaviors (pressuring to finish, laissez-faire bottle propping/television [TV] watching while feeding, nonresponsiveness in letting child decide amount to eat); and (2) physical activity (tummy time, TV). Multivariate logistic regression analyses (binary, proportional odds models) performed adjusting for child sex, out-of-home care, Women, Infants, and Children program status, parent age, race/ethnicity, language, number of adults/children in home, income, and site. RESULTS: Eleven percent of parents were categorized as having low health literacy. Low health literacy significantly increased the odds of a parent reporting that they feed more formula than breast milk, (aOR = 2.0 [95% CI: 1.2-3.5]), immediately feed when their child cries (aOR = 1.8 [1.1-2.8]), bottle prop (aOR = 1.8 [1.002-3.1]), any infant TV watching (aOR = 1.8 [1.1-3.0]), and inadequate tummy time (<30 min/d), (aOR = 3.0 [1.5-5.8]). CONCLUSIONS: Low parent health literacy is associated with certain obesogenic infant care behaviors. These behaviors may be modifiable targets for low health literacy-focused interventions to help reduce childhood obesity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yin, HS; Sanders, LM; Rothman, RL; Shustak, R; Eden, SK; Shintani, A; Cerra, ME; Cruzatte, EF; Perrin, EM

Published Date

  • March 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 164 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 577 - 83.e1

PubMed ID

  • 24370343

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3943839

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-6833

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.11.014


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States