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This study aimed to investigate the mediating role of food parenting practices (FPP), including home availability of different types of foods and drinks, parental modelling of fruit intake, permissiveness and the use of food as a reward in the relationship between parental education and dietary intake in European children.
Single mediation analyses were conducted to explore whether FPP explain associations between parents’ educational level and children’s dietary intake measured by a parent-reported FFQ.
Six European countries.
Parent–child dyads (n 6705, 50·7 % girls, 88·8 % mothers) from the Feel4Diabetes-study.
Children aged 8·15 ± 0·96 years were included. Parental education was associated with children’s higher intake of water, fruits and vegetables and lower intake of sugar-rich foods and savoury snacks. All FPP explained the associations between parental education and dietary intake to a greater or lesser extent. Specifically, home availability of soft drinks explained 59·3 % of the association between parental education and sugar-rich food intake. Home availability of fruits and vegetables was the strongest mediators in the association between parental education and fruit and vegetable consumption (77·3 % and 51·5 %, respectively). Regarding savoury snacks, home availability of salty snacks and soft drinks was the strongest mediators (27·6 % and 20·8 %, respectively).
FPP mediate the associations between parental education and children’s dietary intake. This study highlights the importance of addressing FPP in future interventions targeting low-educated populations.
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