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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.
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.
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.
To examine the types of food served at family dinner in the homes of adolescents and correlations with parent and family sociodemographic characteristics, psychosocial factors and meal-specific variables.
A cross-sectional population-based survey completed by mail or telephone by parents participating in Project F-EAT (Families and Eating and Activity in Teens) in 2009–2010.
Homes of families with adolescents in Minneapolis/St. Paul urban area, MN, USA.
Participants included 1923 parents/guardians (90·8 % female; 68·5 % from ethnic/racial minorities) of adolescents who participated in EAT 2010.
Less than a third (28 %) of parents reported serving a green salad at family dinner on a regular basis, but 70 % reported regularly serving vegetables (other than potatoes). About one-fifth (21 %) of families had fast food at family dinners two or more times per week. Variables from within the sociodemographic domain (low educational attainment) psychosocial domain (high work–life stress, depressive symptoms, low family functioning) and meal-specific domain (low value of family meals, low enjoyment of cooking, low meal planning, high food purchasing barriers and fewer hours in food preparation) were associated with lower healthfulness of foods served at family dinners, in analyses adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics.
There is a need for interventions to improve the healthfulness of food served at family meals. Interventions need to be suitable for parents with low levels of education; take parent and family psychosocial factors into account; promote more positive attitudes toward family meals; and provide skills to make it easier to plan and prepare healthful family meals.
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