Location: Children's Nutrition Research CenterTitle: Associations among food insecurity and parental influences of children’s dietary intake Author
Submitted to: International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2010
Publication Date: 6/9/2010
Citation: Watson, K., Cullen, K. 2010. Associations among food insecurity and parental influences of children’s dietary intake [abstract]. International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. p 350. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the overall relationships among food insecurity, parent mediators, and parent behaviors towards children’s dietary behavior in a predominantly Hispanic population. This cross-sectional study was a secondary analysis of baseline data from women with families who participated in a food and nutrition education intervention program for limited-resource families. The following data was obtained: demographics, effective (EPP)/ineffective parenting practices (IPP), parent self-efficacy (PSE) to provide/encourage healthy diets for their children, menu planning and grocery shopping practices (MP), modified parent/family barriers (mPB) to eating FJV, modified family food preparation practices (mFFPP), home FJV availability (HA), and the USDA’s food insecurity (FI) scale. A multi-group structural equation model (M-SEM) was used to assess the relationships among parenting influences overall and by FI status. The women (n=861) were Hispanic (88%), White (4%), African American (8%), and Other race (0.3%), 43.0% FI and 34.2 (+9.3) years. There were no FI group differences from the M-SEM. Overall results did support expected relationships. The model fit (x2=585.75, df=298, p<0.001, RMSEA=0.05, CFI=0.97). Increased mPB significantly predicted increased IPP. In contrast, decreased mPB moderately predicted increased EPP. PSE positively predicted EPP, MP, HA, and mFFPP. The relationship between PSE and IPP was weak. In conclusion, obesity intervention studies targeting parent/family barriers and self-efficacy to provide/encourage healthy diets may result in an increase in parent behaviors that promote healthy eating among children. Future research should include investigating complex causal pathways to determine whether parental changes in the mediators ultimately lead to an increase in children’s healthy dietary behavior.