Submitted to: International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2008
Publication Date: 5/1/2008
Citation: O'Connor, T., Hughes, S., Watson, K., Baranowski, T., Nicklas, T., Qu, H., Fisher, J., Shewchuk, R. 2008. Parenting practices are associated with fruit and vegetable consumption in preschool children [abstract]. Seventh Annual Conference of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, May 21-24, 2008, Banff, Alberta, Canada. p. 108. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Parents may influence children's fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption in many ways, but research has primarily focused on counter-productive parenting practices, e.g., restriction and pressure to eat. The aim of this study was to assess the association of parenting practices to promote FV to its consumption among preschool children. An exploratory analysis was performed on cross-sectional data from 755 Head Start preschool children and their parents collected in 2004-5. Data included parent practices to facilitate child FV consumption (grouped into 5 categories); parent-reported dietary intake of their child over 3 days; and a number of potential correlates. K-means cluster analysis assigned parents to groups with similar use of the food parenting practice categories. Stepwise linear regression analyses investigated the association of parent clusters to child's consumption of FV, after controlling for potential confounding factors. A three cluster solution (n= 755) provided the best fit (R2=0.62) and substantial differences in use of parenting practices. The clusters were labeled Indiscriminate Food Parenting, Non-directive Food Parenting, and Low-involved Food Parenting. Non-directive parents extensively used enhanced availability and teachable moments practices, but less firm discipline than the other two clusters. The Non-directive Food Parenting cluster was significantly associated with child FV intake (standardized beta 0.09, p < 0.1; final model R2= 0.17) after controlling for confounders. Use of a combination of non-directive FV parenting practices (such as enhanced availability and teachable moments) and avoidance of over-controlling parenting practices (such as firm discipline) was associated with children's FV intake.