Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Conditioned to eat while watching television? Low-income caregivers’ perspectives on the role of snacking and television viewing among pre-schoolers

  • Rachel E Blaine (a1) (a2), Jennifer Orlet Fisher (a3), Christine E Blake (a4), Alexandria Orloski (a3), Nicholas Younginer (a4), Yasmeen Bruton (a3), Claudia Ganter (a2), Eric B Rimm (a2), Alan C Geller (a5) and Kirsten K Davison (a2)...

Abstract

Objective

Although television (TV) viewing is frequently paired with snacking among young children, little is known about the environment in which caregivers promote this behaviour. We describe low-income pre-schoolers’ snacking and TV viewing habits as reported by their primary caregivers, including social/physical snacking contexts, types of snacks and caregiver rationales for offering snacks. These findings may support the development of effective messages to promote healthy child snacking.

Design

Semi-structured interviews assessed caregiver conceptualizations of pre-schoolers’ snacks, purpose of snacks, snack context and snack frequency.

Setting

Interviews occurred in Boston, Massachusetts and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Subjects

Forty-seven low-income multi-ethnic primary caregivers of children aged 3–5 years (92 % female, 32 % Hispanic/Latino, 34 % African American) described their child’s snacking in the context of TV viewing.

Results

TV viewing and child snacking themes were described consistently across racial/ethnic groups. Caregivers described snacks offered during TV viewing as largely unhealthy. Labels for TV snacks indicated non-nutritive purposes, such as ‘time out’, ‘enjoyment’ or ‘quiet.’ Caregivers’ primary reasons for providing snacks included child’s expectations, behaviour management (e.g. to occupy child) and social time (e.g. family bonding). Some caregivers used TV to distract picky children to eat more food. Child snacking and TV viewing were contextually paired by providing child-sized furniture (‘TV table’) specifically for snacking.

Conclusions

Low-income caregivers facilitate pre-schoolers’ snacking and TV viewing, which are described as routine, positive and useful for non-nutritive purposes. Messages to caregivers should encourage ‘snack-free’ TV viewing, healthy snack options and guidance for managing children’s behaviour without snacks or TV.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Conditioned to eat while watching television? Low-income caregivers’ perspectives on the role of snacking and television viewing among pre-schoolers
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Conditioned to eat while watching television? Low-income caregivers’ perspectives on the role of snacking and television viewing among pre-schoolers
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Conditioned to eat while watching television? Low-income caregivers’ perspectives on the role of snacking and television viewing among pre-schoolers
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email rachel.blaine@csulb.edu

References

Hide All
1. Piernas, C & Popkin, BM (2010) Trends in snacking among US children. Health Aff (Millwood) 29, 398404.
2. Bleich, SN & Wolfson, JA (2015) US adults and child snacking patterns among sugar sweetened beverage drinkers and non-drinkers. Prev Med 72, 814.
3. Larson, N & Story, M (2013) A review of snacking patterns among children and adolescents: what are the implications of snacking for weight status? Child Obes 9, 104115.
4. Ford, CN, Slining, MM & Popkin, BM (2013) Trends in dietary intake among US 2- to 6-year-old children, 1989–2008. J Acad Nutr Diet 113, 3542.
5. Shroff, MR, Perng, W, Baylin, A et al. (2014) Adherence to a snacking dietary pattern and soda intake are related to the development of adiposity: a prospective study in school-age children. Public Health Nutr 17, 15071513.
6. Tandon, PS, Zhou, C, Lozano, P et al. (2011) Preschoolers’ total daily screen time at home and by type of child care. J Pediatr 158, 297300.
7. Ford, C, Ward, D & White, M (2012) Television viewing associated with adverse dietary outcomes in children ages 2–6. Obes Rev 13, 11391147.
8. Erinosho, TO, Beth Dixon, L, Young, C et al. (2013) Caregiver food behaviours are associated with dietary intakes of children outside the child-care setting. Public Health Nutr 16, 12631272.
9. Maitland, C, Stratton, G, Foster, S et al. (2013) A place for play? The influence of the home physical environment on children’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 10, 99.
10. Cox, R, Skouteris, H, Rutherford, L et al. (2012) Television viewing, television content, food intake, physical activity and body mass index: a cross-sectional study of preschool children aged 2–6 years. Health Promot J Aust 23, 5862.
11. De Jong, E, Visscher, T, HiraSing, R et al. (2013) Association between TV viewing, computer use and overweight, determinants and competing activities of screen time in 4-to 13-year-old children. Int J Obes (Lond) 37, 4753.
12. Rollins, BY, Loken, E & Birch, LL (2010) Stability and change in snack food likes and dislikes from 5 to 11 years. Appetite 55, 371373.
13. Davison, KK, Blake, CE, Blaine, RE et al. (2015) Parenting around child snacking: development of a theoretically-guided, empirically informed conceptual model. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 12, 109.
14. Taveras, EM, Hohman, KH, Price, S et al. (2009) Televisions in the bedrooms of racial/ethnic minority children: how did they get there and how do we get them out? Clin Pediatr (Phila) 48, 715719.
15. Taveras, EM, Gillman, MW, Kleinman, K et al. (2010) Racial/ethnic differences in early-life risk factors for childhood obesity. Pediatrics 125, 686695.
16. Flores, G & Lin, H (2013) Factors predicting severe childhood obesity in kindergarteners. Int J Obes (Lond) 37, 3139.
17. Blumberg, SJ, Bialostosky, K, Hamilton, WL et al. (1999) The effectiveness of a short form of the Household Food Security Scale. Am J Public Health 89, 12311234.
18. Grove, RW (1988) An analysis of the constant comparative method. Int J Qual Stud Educ 1, 273279.
19. Taylor, S & Bogdan, R (1984) Introduction to Research Methods. New York: Wiley.
20. Nishida, H (2005) Cultural schema theory. In Theorizing About Intercultural Communication, pp. 401418 [WB Gudykunst, editor]. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
21. Blake, CE, Bisogni, CA, Sobal, J et al. (2007) Classifying foods in contexts: how adults categorize foods for different eating settings. Appetite 49, 500510.
22. Fisher, JO, Wright, G, Herman, A et al. (2013) Snacks are not food: low-income mothers’ definitions and feeding practices around child snacking. FASEB J 27, 231.1.
23. Fisher, J, Wright, G, Herman, A et al. (2015) ‘Snacks are not food’. Low-income, urban mothers’ perceptions of feeding snacks to their preschool-aged children. Appetite 84, 6167.
24. Zsembik, BA & Fennell, D (2005) Ethnic variation in health and the determinants of health among Latinos. Soc Sci Med 61, 5363.
25. Suglia, SF, Duarte, CS, Chambers, EC et al. (2012) Cumulative social risk and obesity in early childhood. Pediatrics 129, e1173e1179.
26. Adachi-Mejia, AM, Longacre, MR, Gibson, JJ et al. (2007) Children with a TV in their bedroom at higher risk for being overweight. Int J Obes (Lond) 31, 644651.
27. Haines, J, O’Brien, A, McDonald, J et al. (2012) Television viewing and televisions in bedrooms: perceptions of racial/ethnic minority parents of young children. J Child Fam Stud 22, 749756.
28. Njoroge, WF, Elenbaas, LM, Garrison, MM et al. (2013) Parental cultural attitudes and beliefs regarding young children and television. JAMA Pediatr 167, 739745.
29. Jordan, AB, Hersey, JC, McDivitt, JA et al. (2006) Reducing children’s television-viewing time: a qualitative study of parents and their children. Pediatrics 118, e1303e1310.
30. Lindsay, AC, Sussner, KM, Greaney, ML et al. (2009) Influence of social context on eating, physical activity, and sedentary behaviors of Latina mothers and their preschool-age children. Health Educ Behav 36, 8196.
31. Davis RE, Cole SM, Reyes LI et al. (2015) ‘It hurts a Latina when they tell us anything about our children’: implications of Mexican-origin mothers’ maternal identities, aspirations, and attitudes about cultural transmission for childhood obesity prevention. Child Obes 11, 608–615.
32. Fisher, JO & Kral, TV (2008) Super-size me: portion size effects on young children’s eating. Physiol Behav 94, 3947.
33. Mrdjenovic, G & Levitsky, DA (2005) Children eat what they are served: the imprecise regulation of energy intake. Appetite 44, 273282.
34. Boulos, R, Vikre, EK, Oppenheimer, S et al. (2012) ObesiTV: how television is influencing the obesity epidemic. Physiol Behav 107, 146153.
35. Marsh, S, Ni Mhurchu, C & Maddison, R (2013) The non-advertising effects of screen-based sedentary activities on acute eating behaviours in children, adolescents, and young adults. A systematic review. Appetite 71, 259273.
36. Strasburger, VC, Hogan, MJ, Mulligan, DA et al. (2013) Children, adolescents, and the media. Pediatrics 132, 958961.
37. Birch, L, McPhee, L, Sullivan, S et al. (1989) Conditioned meal initiation in young children. Appetite 13, 105113.
38. Patro, B & Szajewska, H (2010) Meal patterns and childhood obesity. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 13, 300304.

Keywords

Conditioned to eat while watching television? Low-income caregivers’ perspectives on the role of snacking and television viewing among pre-schoolers

  • Rachel E Blaine (a1) (a2), Jennifer Orlet Fisher (a3), Christine E Blake (a4), Alexandria Orloski (a3), Nicholas Younginer (a4), Yasmeen Bruton (a3), Claudia Ganter (a2), Eric B Rimm (a2), Alan C Geller (a5) and Kirsten K Davison (a2)...

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed