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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.
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.
Regional examination centres in eight European countries.
Adolescents (n 3196) aged 12–18 years.
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).
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.
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