Submitted to: International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2005
Publication Date: July 1, 2005
Citation: Cullen, K. 2005. Family environmental influences on children’s eating behavior [abstract]. In: Fourth Annual Conference of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Program and Abstracts, June 16-18, 2005, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. p. 25-26. Technical Abstract: Parents can influence children’s dietary behaviors within the home family environment. This presentation will review current research identifying family environmental influences on eating, and how these influences can be used in targeted interventions. For example, the foods available in both home and outside-the-home environments (e.g., restaurants) reflect family choices and can facilitate or inhibit consumption. Parents are the gatekeepers of the home food supply and if specific foods are not purchased and brought into the home (e.g., fruit and vegetables), children will not have access to them. The choice of a restaurant, and the guidance given about food selection in a restaurant (e.g., large portions, fried foods) also influence consumption. Parents prepare foods in the home and specific cooking or other food preparation practices can influence consumption. Children watch and mimic parental behaviors, including eating behaviors. Parents have an important responsibility as role models for their children, even in area of food. Parental influences begin with infant feeding experiences and children’s first foods and continue throughout the school years. During these years of growth and development, there are many opportunities for interventions to promote healthy eating behaviors.