Clustering of obesity-related risk behaviors in children and their mothers.
ABSTRACT To examine the clustering and patterns of obesity-related behaviors in children and their mothers and the concordance between mother and child pairs.
Primary school-aged children and their mothers in Victoria, Australia, participated (data from 549 mothers, 352 children, and 304 mother/child pairs). Examination of behavior patterns included 1) assessment of the overlap in national physical activity, screen-time, and fruit and vegetable consumption guidelines being met; and 2) cluster analysis of positive (consumption of fruits and vegetables) and negative (consumption of energy dense food/drink) dietary behaviors, sedentary behavior/screen-time, and physical activity.
Only partial overlap was observed between groups meeting national recommendations for sedentary behavior and consumption of fruit and vegetables and energy-dense food. Less than 40% of mothers and children were meeting sedentary behavior guidelines. In both mothers and children five clusters were identified. With the exception of a single cluster in children with high levels of physical activity, clusters of healthy and unhealthy behavior were concordant in mothers and their children (p < .0001), particularly those defined by sedentary behaviors and consumption of energy-dense food/drink.
Complex patterns of obesity-related behaviors exist in children and their mothers. The concordance of clusters between children and their mothers suggests that modeling of sedentary behavior and creation of a child's eating environment by parents may be particularly important influences on children's behavior.