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To understand how dietary intake data collected via a brief ecological momentary assessment (EMA) measure compares to that of data collected via interviewer-administered 24-h dietary recalls, and explore differences in level of concordance between these two assessment types by individual- and meal-level characteristics.
Parents completed three 24-h dietary recalls and 8 d of brief EMA surveys on behalf of their child; in total, there were 185 d where dietary intake data from both EMA and 24-h recall were available. The EMA measure asked parents to indicate whether (yes/no) their child had consumed any of the nine total food items (e.g. fruit, vegetable, etc.) at eating occasions where both the child and parent were present.
Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls were completed in person in the study participant’s home; participants completed EMA surveys using a study provided in iPad or their personal cell phone.
A diverse, population-based sample of parent–child dyads (n 150).
Among meals reported in both the EMA and dietary recalls, concordance of reporting of specific types of food ranged from moderate agreement for meat (kappa = 0·55); fair agreement for sweets (kappa = 0·38), beans/nuts (kappa = 0·37), dairy (kappa = 0·31), fruit (kappa = 0·31) and vegetables (kappa = 0·27); and little to no agreement for refined grains, whole grains and sweetened beverages (73 % overall agreement; kappa = 0·14). Concordance of reporting was highest for breakfast and snacks, as compared with other eating occasions. Higher concordance was observed between the two measures if the meal occurred at home.
Data suggest that among meals reported in both the EMA and dietary recalls, concordance in reporting was reasonably good for some types of food but only fair or poor for others.
This study is a secondary data analysis that examines the association between parent modelling of dietary intake and physical activity and the same child behaviours among different races/ethnicities using innovative, rigorous and objective measures.
Ecological momentary assessment surveys were sent to parents to assess whether their child had seen them exercise or consume food. Dietary recall data and accelerometry were used to determine dietary intake and physical activity behaviours of children.
Participants were randomly selected from primary care clinics, serving low-income and racially/ethnically diverse families in Minnesota, USA.
Participants were families with children aged 5–7 years old who lived with parents 50 % of the time and shared at least one meal together.
A 10 percentage point higher prevalence in parent modelling of fruit and vegetable intake was associated with 0·12 higher serving intake of those same foods in children. The prevalence of parent modelling of eating energy dense foods (10 % prevalence units) was associated with 0·09 higher serving intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. Furthermore, accelerometry-measured parent sedentary hours was strongly correlated with child sedentary time (0·37 child sedentary hours per parent sedentary hours). An exploratory interaction analysis did not reveal any statistical evidence that these relationships depended on the child’s race/ethnic background.
Interventions that increase parent modelling of healthy eating and minimise modelling of energy dense foods may have favourable effects on child dietary quality. Additionally, future research is needed to clarify the associations of parent modelling of physical activity and children’s physical activity levels.
To describe snacking characteristics and patterns in children and examine associations with diet quality and BMI.
Children’s weight and height were measured. Participants/adult proxies completed multiple 24 h dietary recalls. Snack occasions were self-identified. Snack patterns were derived for each sample using exploratory factor analysis. Associations of snacking characteristics and patterns with Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) score and BMI were examined using multivariable linear regression models.
Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research (COPTR) Consortium, USA: NET-Works, GROW, GOALS and IMPACT studies.
Two snack patterns were derived for three studies: a meal-like pattern and a beverage pattern. The IMPACT study had a similar meal-like pattern and a dairy/grains pattern. A positive association was observed between meal-like pattern adherence and HEI-2010 score (P for trend < 0⋅01) and snack occasion frequency and HEI-2010 score (β coefficient (95 % CI): NET-Works, 0⋅14 (0⋅04, 0⋅23); GROW, 0⋅12 (0⋅02, 0⋅21)) among younger children. A preference for snacking while using a screen was inversely associated with HEI-2010 score in all studies except IMPACT (β coefficient (95 % CI): NET-Works, −3⋅15 (−5⋅37, −0⋅92); GROW, −2⋅44 (−4⋅27, −0⋅61); GOALS, −5⋅80 (−8⋅74, −2⋅86)). Associations with BMI were almost all null.
Meal-like and beverage patterns described most children’s snack intake, although patterns for non-Hispanic Blacks or adolescents may differ. Diets of 2–5-year-olds may benefit from frequent meal-like pattern snack consumption and diets of all children may benefit from decreasing screen use during eating occasions.
The current mixed-methods study explored qualitative accounts of prior childhood experiences and current contextual factors around family meals across three quantitatively informed categories of family meal frequency patterns from adolescence to parenthood: (i) ‘maintainers’ of family meals across generations; (ii) ‘starters’ of family meals in the next generation; and (iii) ‘inconsistent’ family meal patterns across generations.
Quantitative survey data collected as part of the first (1998–1999) and fourth (2015–2016) waves of the longitudinal Project EAT (Eating and Activity in Adolescents and Young Adults) study and qualitative interviews conducted with a subset (n 40) of Project EAT parent participants in 2016–2017.
Surveys were completed in school (Wave 1) and online (Wave 4); qualitative interviews were completed in-person or over the telephone.
Parents of children of pre-school age (n 40) who had also completed Project EAT surveys at Wave 1 and Wave 4.
Findings revealed salient variation within each overarching theme around family meal influences (‘early childhood experiences’, ‘influence of partner’, ‘household skills’ and ‘family priorities’) across the three intergenerational family meal patterns, in which ‘maintainers’ had numerous influences that supported the practice of family meals; ‘starters’ experienced some supports and some challenges; and ‘inconsistents’ experienced many barriers to making family meals a regular practice.
Family meal interventions should address differences in cooking and planning skills, aim to reach all adults in the home, and seek to help parents who did not eat family meals as a child develop an understanding of how and why they might start this tradition with their family.
To categorize the home food environment and dietary intake of young children (5–7 years old) from racially/ethnically diverse households using objectively collected data.
In-home observations in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA.
Families with 5–7-year-old children who identified as Black, White, Hmong, Latino, Native American or Somali.
There were many significant differences by race/ethnicity for child dietary intake and for the home food environment, with specific patterns emerging by race/ethnicity. For example, Somali children had high Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) scores, but low daily intakes of fruits and vegetables. Black children had low HEI-2010 scores and a pattern of low intake of healthful foods and high intake of unhealthful foods. White and Latino families had high levels of both healthful and unhealthful home food availability and children with high HEI-2010 scores.
Results indicate that the home food environment of young children varies across racial/ethnic group. Study findings also provide new information regarding the home food environment of young children in previously understudied racial/ethnic groups and indicate that interventions working to improve the home food environment and dietary intake of children may want to consider race/ethnicity.
The present study examined longitudinal associations between four family meal patterns (i.e. never had regular family meals, started having regular family meals, stopped having regular family meals, maintained having regular family meals) and young adult parents’ dietary intake, weight-related behaviours and psychosocial well-being. In addition, family meal patterns of parents were compared with those of non-parents.
Analysis of data from the longitudinal Project EAT (Eating and Activity in Adolescents and Young Adults) study. Linear and logistic regressions were used to examine the associations between family meal patterns and parents’ dietary intake, weight-related behaviours and psychosocial well-being.
School and in-home settings.
At baseline (1998; EAT-I), adolescents (n 4746) from socio-economically and racially/ethnically diverse households completed a survey and anthropometric measurements at school. At follow-up (2015; EAT-IV), participants who were parents (n 726) and who were non-parents with significant others (n 618) completed an online survey.
Young adult parents who reported having regular family meals as an adolescent and as a parent (‘maintainers’), or who started having regular family meals with their own families (‘starters’), reported more healthful dietary, weight-related and psychosocial outcomes compared with young adults who never reported having regular family meals (‘nevers’; P<0·05). In addition, parents were more likely to be family meal starters than non-parents.
Results suggest that mental and physical health benefits of having regular family meals may be realized as a parent whether the routine of regular family meals is carried forward from adolescence into parenthood, or if the routine is started in parenthood.
Having frequent family dinners is associated with better diet quality in children; however, it is unknown whether the frequency of certain family meal types (i.e. dinner) is more strongly associated with better child weight and diet quality compared with other meal types (i.e. breakfast, lunch). Thus, the current study examined the frequency of eating breakfast, lunch or dinner family meals and associations with pre-school children’s overall diet quality (HEI-2010) and BMI percentile.
Cross-sectional baseline data (2012–2014) from two randomized controlled childhood obesity prevention trials, NET-Works and GROW, were analysed together.
Studies were carried out in community and in-home settings in urban areas of Minnesota and Tennessee, USA.
Parent–child (ages 2–5 years) pairs from Minnesota (n 222 non-Hispanics; n 312 Hispanics) and Tennessee (n 545 Hispanics; n 55 non-Hispanics) participated in the study.
Over 80 % of families ate breakfast or lunch family meals at least once per week. Over 65 % of families ate dinner family meals ≥5 times/week. Frequency of breakfast family meals and total weekly family meals were significantly associated with healthier diet quality for non-Hispanic pre-school children (P<0·05), but not for Hispanic children. Family meal frequency by meal type was not associated with BMI percentile for non-Hispanic or Hispanic pre-school children.
Breakfast family meal frequency and total weekly family meal frequency were associated with healthier diet quality in non-Hispanic pre-school children but not in Hispanic children. Longitudinal research is needed to clarify the association between family meal type and child diet quality and BMI percentile.
Little is known about whether siblings have similar or different eating behaviours or whether parents tailor their feeding practices to different siblings. The main objectives of the present study were to examine similarities and differences in child eating behaviours and parental feeding practices with siblings and to determine whether child eating behaviours and parental feeding practices differ depending on sibling concordant (i.e. both siblings overweight or healthy weight) or discordant (i.e. one sibling overweight and one sibling healthy weight) weight status.
Cross-sectional, mixed-methods study.
In-home visits were conducted by research staff. Surveys were conducted with parents and anthropometry was collected on parents and siblings.
Children (n 88) aged 6–12 years (mean age 9 (sd 2) years), their parents (mean age 34 (sd 7) years) and near-age siblings (mean age 9 (sd 4) years) from diverse racial/ethnic and low-income households participated.
Results indicated that siblings with higher BMI engaged in higher levels of emotional eating compared with siblings with lower BMI. Additionally, results indicated that when families had sibling dyads discordant on weight status, the sibling who was overweight had higher food enjoyment and lower levels of food satiety. Additionally, within siblings with discordant weight status, parents were more likely to use restrictive feeding practices with the overweight sibling and pressure-to-eat and encouragement-to-eat feeding practices with the healthy-weight sibling.
Family-based childhood obesity interventions may need to assess for sibling weight status when researching the home environment and intervene with parents to avoid using restriction or pressure-to-eat feeding practices when siblings are discordant on weight status.
Although existing evidence links breakfast frequency to better dietary quality, little is known specifically in regard to the benefits associated with eating breakfast together with one’s family. The present study describes the prevalence and experience of having family meals at breakfast among rural families and examines associations between meal frequency and adolescent diet quality.
Data were drawn from Project BreakFAST, a group-randomized trial aimed at increasing school breakfast participation in rural Minnesota high schools, USA. Linear mixed models were used to examine associations between student reports of family breakfast frequency and Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010) scores while accounting for clustering within schools, demographics and household food security.
Adolescent students from sixteen schools completed online surveys, height and weight measurements, and dietary recalls at baseline in 2012–2014.
The sample included 827 adolescents (55·1 % girls) in grades 9–10 who reported eating breakfast on at most three days per school week.
On average, adolescents reported eating breakfast with their family 1·3 (sd 1·9) times in the past week. Family breakfast meals occurred most frequently in the homes of adolescents who reported a race other than white (P=0·002) or Hispanic ethnicity (P=0·02). Family breakfast frequency was directly associated with adolescent involvement in preparing breakfast meals (P<0·001) and positive attitudes (P≤0·01) about mealtime importance, interactions and structure. Family breakfast frequency was unrelated to most diet quality markers.
Family meals may be one important context of opportunity for promoting healthy food patterns at breakfast. Additional research is needed to better inform and evaluate strategies.
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