Parental control over feeding and children's fruit and vegetable intake

How are they related?

Jane Wardle, Susan Carnell, Lucy Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To replicate the finding of a negative association between parental control and fruit and vegetable consumption in girls. To extend the investigation to boys and examine sex differences. To test the hypothesis that children's food neophobia explains this association. Cross-sectional questionnaire survey. The questionnaire included items assessing parents' and children's fruit and vegetable intake, the Parental Control Index, and the Child Food Neophobia Scale. Parents of 564 2- to 6-year-old children, recruited from 22 London nursery schools. Relationships between continuous variables were examined with Pearson product moment correlation coefficients. Sex differences were tested using independent sample t tests, and sex differences in correlations were assessed from their 95% confidence intervals. Parental control and children's food neophobia were entered into a hierarchical multiple regression to test the hypothesis that neophobia explains the association between parental control and children's fruit and vegetable intake. We replicated the finding that parental control was correlated with children's fruit and vegetable consumption and found no significant sex differences. Parental fruit and vegetable consumption and children's food neophobia were also strong predictors of children's fruit and vegetable consumption, and both were associated with parental control, suggesting that they might explain the association between control and intake. Controlling for children's food neophobia and parental intake reduced the association of parental control with children's fruit and vegetable intake to nonsignificance. These findings emphasize the importance of systematic research about associations between parental feeding styles and children's dietary habits so that dietetics professionals can give parents sound advice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Volume105
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes

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vegetable consumption
fruit consumption
Vegetables
Fruit
gender differences
Sex Characteristics
Food
Parents
questionnaires
Nursery Schools
Dietetics
Feeding Behavior
dietetics
confidence interval
Cross-Sectional Studies
testing
Confidence Intervals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Parental control over feeding and children's fruit and vegetable intake : How are they related? / Wardle, Jane; Carnell, Susan; Cooke, Lucy.

In: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 105, No. 2, 02.2005, p. 227-232.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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