Associations between characteristics of the home food environment and fruit and vegetable intake in preschool children: A cross-sectional study

Faculty of Health, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, c/o Locked Bag 10, Wallsend, NSW 2287, Australia.
BMC Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.32). 12/2011; 11:938. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-938
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Early childhood is critical to the development of lifelong food habits. Given the high proportion of children with inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption, identification of modifiable factors associated with higher consumption may be useful in developing interventions to address this public health issue. This study aimed to identify the characteristics of the home food environment that are associated with higher fruit and vegetable consumption in a sample of Australian preschool children.
A cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted with 396 parents of 3 to 5 year-old children attending 30 preschools within the Hunter region, New South Wales, Australia. Children's fruit and vegetable consumption was measured using a valid and reliable subscale from the Children's Dietary Questionnaire. Associations were investigated between children's fruit and vegetable intake and characteristics of the home food environment including parental role-modeling, parental providing behaviour, fruit and vegetable availability, fruit and vegetable accessibility, pressure to eat, family eating policies and family mealtime practices. Characteristics of the home food environment that showed evidence of an association with children's fruit and vegetable consumption in simple regression models were entered into a backwards stepwise multiple regression analysis. The multiple regression analysis used generalised linear mixed models, controlled for parental education, household income and child gender, and was adjusted for the correlation between children's fruit and vegetable consumption within a preschool.
The multiple regression analysis found positive associations between children's fruit and vegetable consumption and parental fruit and vegetable intake (p=0.005), fruit and vegetable availability (p=0.006) and accessibility (p=0.012), the number of occasions each day that parents provided their child with fruit and vegetables (p<0.001), and allowing children to eat only at set meal times all or most of the time (p=0.006). Combined, these characteristics of the home food environment accounted for 48% of the variation in the child's fruit and vegetable score.
This study identified a range of modifiable characteristics within the home food environment that are associated with fruit and vegetable consumption among preschool children. Such characteristics could be considered potential targets for interventions to promote intake among children of this age.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background The home food environment is an important setting for the development of dietary patterns in childhood. Interventions that support parents to modify the home food environment for their children, however, may also improve parent diet. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a telephone-based intervention targeting the home food environment of preschool children on the fruit and vegetable consumption of parents.Methods In 2010, 394 parents of 3¿5 year¿old children from 30 preschools in the Hunter region of Australia were recruited to this cluster randomised controlled trial and were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. Intervention group parents received four weekly 30-minute telephone calls and written resources. The scripted calls focused on; fruit and vegetable availability and accessibility, parental role-modelling, and supportive home food routines. Two items from the Australian National Nutrition Survey were used to assess the average number of serves of fruit and vegetables consumed each day by parents at baseline, and 2-, 6-, 12-, and 18-months later, using generalised estimating equations (adjusted for baseline values and clustering by preschool) and an intention-to-treat-approach.ResultsAt each follow-up, vegetable consumption among intervention parents significantly exceeded that of controls. At 2-months the difference was 0.71 serves (95%CI: 0.58-0.85, p¿<¿0.0001), and at 18-months the difference was 0.36 serves (95%CI: 0.10-0.61, p¿=¿0.0067). Fruit consumption among intervention parents was found to significantly exceed consumption of control parents at the 2-,12- and 18-month follow-up, with the difference at 2-months being 0.26 serves (95%CI: 0.12-0.40, p¿=¿0.0003), and 0.26 serves maintained at 18-months, (95%CI: 0.10-0.43, p¿=¿0.0015).ConclusionsA four-contact telephone-based intervention that focuses on changing characteristics of preschoolers¿ home food environment can increase parents¿ fruit and vegetable consumption.(ANZCTR12609000820202).
    International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 12/2014; 11(1):1. DOI:10.1186/s12966-014-0144-6 · 3.68 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Die empfohlene Verzehrsmenge von Gemüse wird fast in allen Altersgruppen von Kindern und Jugendlichen nicht erreicht. Der Verzehr von Gemüse durch Vorbilder, wie z.B. Eltern oder ErzieherInnen, und die wiederholte Exposition dieser Lebensmittel in den ersten Lebensjahren scheinen die wichtigsten Trigger für eine gesundheitlich nachhaltige Ernährungsweise zu sein. Bereits die ersten 12 - 24 Lebensmonate setzen die Weichen für ein lebenslanges Gemüseverzehrsmuster. Die bestehenden institutionsübergreifenden Angebote und Projekte zur Steigerung der Gemüseverzehrs bei Kindern und Jugendlichen in Deutschland bieten bereits eine gute Vielfalt. Die Informationen über diese Angebote sollten aber einfacher, übersichtlicher und zentral kommuniziert werden. Der Transfer zwischen Wissenschaft und Praxis kann als gelungen angesehen werden. Allerdings müssen die Ernährungsausbildung der Erzieherinnen und Erzieher sowie das Gemüseangebot in Bildungseinrichtungen qualitativ optimiert werden. Neue Herausforderungen und wichtige Stellschrauben sind die Lebensmittelqualität und -auswahl im Ausser-Haus-Verzehr und die digitale Medienpädagogik.
    12/2014; GRIN Verlag GmbH., ISBN: 978-3-656-86659-6
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The current study examined how African American fathers' dietary practices were associated with their children's dietary consumption. The sample consisted of one hundred and two African American fathers, who had children between the ages of three and thirteen. The fathers provided self-reports of their consumption of fruits, vegetables, and sugar sweetened beverages; modeling of healthy eating; household availability of foods and beverages; and their children's previously mentioned consumption. Sweetened beverages are considered to be any beverage that contains added sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, and/or fruit juice concentrates. Paternal modeling and household availability of food and beverages were measured using subscales from the Comprehensive Feeding Practices Questionnaire (CFPQ). Three separate hierarchical regressions were performed to reveal that child fruit and vegetable consumption was only predicted by parental intake. Child sweetened beverage consumption, however, was predicted by paternal intake and household availability. Modeling did not significantly predict children's consumption of fruits, vegetables, or sweetened beverages. The findings suggest that paternal intake of fruits, vegetables, and sweetened beverages predicts child consumption of fruits, vegetables, and sweetened beverages. Family efforts should be made toward increasing father's consumption of healthy foods while decreasing the consumption and availability of sweetened beverages. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Appetite 11/2014; 85. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2014.11.008 · 2.52 Impact Factor

Full-text (4 Sources)

Available from
May 20, 2014