ABSTRACT: Little is known about the precise role of parental migrant status (MS) and educational level (EL) on adiposity and various eating habits in young children. Therefore, we assessed their independent contribution in preschoolers.
Of 655 randomly selected preschoolers, 542 (5.1±0.6 years; 71% of parental MS and 37% of low parental EL) were analysed. Body composition was measured by bioelectrical impedance. Eating habits were assessed using a semiqualitative food frequency questionnaire and analysed according to five messages developed by the Swiss Society for Nutrition, based on factors implicated in childhood obesity: (1) 'Drinking water and decreasing sweetened drinks', (2) 'Eating fruit and vegetables', (3) 'Decreasing breakfast skipping', (4) 'Reducing fatty and sweet foods' and (5) 'Reducing the intake of meals and snacks in front of television'.
Children of migrant and low EL parents had higher body fat, ate more meals and snacks while watching television and had more fruit and fatty foods compared with their respective counterparts (all P≤ 0.04). Children of low EL parents also consumed less water and vegetables compared with their counterparts (all P≤ 0.04). In most instances, we found an independent contribution of parental MS and EL to adiposity and eating habits. A more pronounced effect was found if both parents were migrants or of low EL. Differences in adiposity and eating habits were relatively similar to the joint parental data when assessed individually for maternal and paternal MS and EL.
Parental MS and EL are independently related to adiposity and various eating habits in preschoolers.
European journal of clinical nutrition 11/2010; 65(2):210-8. · 3.07 Impact Factor