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To examine relationships between frequency of adolescents eating alone (dependent variable) and diet, weight status and perceived food-related parenting practices (independent variables).
Analyses of publicly available, cross-sectional, web-based survey data from adolescents.
Online consumer opinion panel.
A US nationwide sample of adolescents (12–17 years) completed Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) Study surveys to report demographic and family meal characteristics, weight, dietary intake, home food availability and perceptions of parenting practices. Parents provided information about demographic characteristics. Logistic regression analyses were used to test for associations between variables.
About 20 % of adolescents reported often eating alone (n 343) v. not often eating alone (n 1309). Adjusted odds of adolescents often eating alone were significantly higher for non-Hispanic Black compared with non-Hispanic White adolescents (OR=1·7) and for overweight or obese compared with normal- or underweight adolescents (OR=1·6). Adjusted odds of adolescents eating alone were significantly lower for those who reported that fruits and vegetables were often/always available in the home (OR=0·65), for those who perceived that parents had expectations about fruit and vegetable intake (OR=0·71) and for those who agreed with parental authority to make rules about intake of junk food/sugary drinks (OR=0·71). Junk food and sugary drink daily intake frequency was positively associated with often eating alone.
Often eating alone was related to being overweight/obese, having less healthy dietary intake and perceptions of less supportive food-related parenting practices.
The study aimed to (i) segment parents of early adolescents into subgroups according to their Ca-rich-food (CRF) practices and perceptions regarding early adolescent CRF intake and (ii) determine whether Ca intake of parents and early adolescents differed by subgroup.
A cross-sectional convenience sample of 509 parents and their early adolescent children completed a questionnaire in 2006–2007 to assess parent CRF practices and perceptions and to estimate parent and child Ca intakes.
Self-administered questionnaires were completed in community settings or homes across nine US states.
Parents self-reporting as Asian, Hispanic or non-Hispanic White with a child aged 10–13 years were recruited through youth or parent events.
Three parent CRF practice/perception segments were identified, including ‘Dedicated-Milk Providers/Drinkers’ (49 %), ‘Water Regulars’ (30 %) and ‘Sweet-Drink-Permissive Parents’ (23 %). Dedicated-Milk Providers/Drinkers were somewhat older and more likely to be non-Hispanic White than other groups. Ca intakes from all food sources, milk/dairy foods and milk only, and milk intakes, were higher among early adolescent children of Dedicated-Milk Providers/Drinkers compared with early adolescents of parents in other segments. Soda pop intakes were highest for early adolescents with parents in the Water Regulars group than other groups. Dedicated-Milk Providers/Drinkers scored higher on culture/tradition, health benefits and ease of use/convenience subscales and lower on a dairy/milk intolerance subscale and were more likely to report eating family dinners daily than parents in the other groups.
Parent education programmes should address CRF practices/perceptions tailored to parent group to improve Ca intake of early adolescent children.
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