Parental versus child reporting of fruit and vegetable consumption

Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM), Department of Health Promotion and Health Education, Universiteit Maastricht, PO Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (Impact Factor: 4.11). 08/2007; 4(1):33. DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-4-33
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to (1) compare parental and child recording of children's fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption, including family-related factors, and (2) investigate the potential differences in the relation of children's and parents' perceptions of family-related factors.
Children were recruited from Dutch seventh and eighth grade classrooms. Each child and one of their parents completed parallel questionnaires. A total of 371 matched child-parent surveys were included in the analyses. To compare parental and child reports of consumption and family-related factors regarding F&V intake several techniques were used such as paired sample t-test, chi-square tests, Pearson's correlations and Cohens's kappa as measurement of agreement. To investigate potential differences between the parent's and children's perceptions of family-related factors, linear regression analyses were conducted.
The results indicated weak agreement for F&V consumption (Cohen's kappa coefficients of .31 and .20, respectively) but no differences in mean consumption of fruit at the group level. Regarding the family-environmental factors related to fruit consumption, significant differences were found between the perceptions of subjective norm, and the availability and accessibility of fruit. Perceptions of subjective norm, parental modelling and exposure regarding vegetable consumption were also viewed differently by the two groups. The family-environmental factors reported by the children were similarly associated with F&V consumption compared to those reported by their respective parents. However, parents rated these factors more favourably than their children did.
The results indicated a low level of agreement between parental and child reporting of F&V intake and their assessment of family-environmental factors on individual level. This has important implications for the development and evaluation of interventions and we recommend that researchers clearly indicate which source of information they use in their studies as it remains unclear which source is more valid.However, when the effects of interventions are studied at the group level, our results suggest that it makes no difference whether children or parents report the child's fruit consumption. The same holds for determinant studies; both parental and child reports can be used. However, perceptions of these factors differ significantly.

Download full-text


Available from: Nanne de Vries
  • Source
    • "Children’s fruit and vegetable consumption and the eating context information were reported by their parents. Previous studies have shown low agreements between children and parental reports of fruit and vegetable intakes [46-48], and also parents had to rely on information given by other carers if the children had been away from home. Hence, there could be errors induced during the recording process. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Eating context is the immediate environment of each eating occasion (EO). There is limited knowledge on the effects of the eating context on food consumption in children, due to the difficulty in measuring the multiple eating contexts children experience throughout the day. This study applied ecological momentary assessment using food diaries to explore the relationships between eating context and fruit and vegetable consumption in UK children. Methods Using 4 d unweighed food diaries, data were collected for 642 children aged 1.5-10y in two years of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008–2010). Participants recorded all foods and drinks consumed at each EO, where and with whom the food was consumed, whether the TV was on and if eaten at a table. Mixed logistic regression and mixed multinomial logistic regression were used to calculate associations between eating contexts and fruit and vegetables (FV) consumed by quartiles. Results Of 16,840 EOs, 73% took place at home and 31% with parents only. Frequency of eating alone and with friends increased with age. Compared to eating at home, children aged 1.5-3y were more likely to consume fruit at care outside home (>10-50g OR:2.39; >50-100g OR:2.12); children aged 4-6y were more likely to consume fruit (>50-100g OR:3.53; >100g OR:1.88) and vegetables at school (>30-60g OR:3.56). Compared to eating with parents only, children aged 1.5-3y were more likely to consume fruit with friends (>10-50g OR:2.69; >50-100g OR:3.49), and with carer and other children/others (>10-50g OR:2.25); children aged 4-6y were more likely to consume fruit (>50-100g OR:1.96) and vegetables with friends (>30-60g OR:3.56). Children of all ages were more likely to eat vegetables when the TV was off than on and at a table than not at table. Conclusions The use of food diaries to capture multiple eating contexts and detailed fruit and vegetable consumption data was demonstrated at a population level. Higher odds of FV consumption were seen from structured settings such as school and care outside home than at home, as well as when eating at a table and the TV off. This study highlights eating contexts where provision of fruit and vegetables could be improved, especially at home. Future research should take eating context into consideration when planning interventions to target children’s food consumption and eating behaviour.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • Source
    • "To describe the positive change or maintenance of favorable levels in fruit or vegetable intake frequency in the first and second time lapse, we used a relative measure, to overcome the phenomenon that children of this study tended to overestimate their FV intake frequency at baseline, as published previously [28]. The phenomenon of over-reporting by younger children was also observed by Reinaerts et al. [33]. For the relative measure, we constructed quartiles of intake frequency at all time points and analyzed whether children changed their relative position. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To investigate if positive changes or maintenance high scores on potential behavioral determinants of fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake are associated with increased or maintenance favorable levels of F&V intake frequency in the same time lapse or later in time. Data were used from two intervention studies in the Netherlands: the Schoolgruiten Project and the Pro Children Study. A design with baseline and two follow-up measurements. 344 children of the Dutch Schoolgruiten Project and 258 children of the Pro Children Study completed questionnaires, including questions on general demographics, usual F&V intake frequency, important potential determinants of F&V intake, such as taste preferences of F&V, availability of F&V, knowledge of recommended intake levels of F&V, self-efficacy for eating F&V, and parental influences for eating F&V. Three different associations between changes in determinants of F&V intake and changes in F&V intake frequency were assessed by multilevel multinomial regression analyses. Results of one of the investigated associations indicated that in both studies behavior change (increase in F&V intake frequency) was preceded by changes in the following variables; liking of fruit, parental facilitation of vegetables, family rules for eating vegetables and availability at home of vegetables. Furthermore, changes in F&V intake frequency preceded changes in liking of F&V later in time. In accordance with behavior change theories, the present study provides some evidence that behavior change was preceded by changes in certain potential determinants of F&V intake. Potential determinants of F&V intake that appear to be important to induce behavior change were liking of fruit, parental facilitation of vegetables, family rules for eating vegetables and availability at home of vegetables. Some evidence was also found that behavior changes may precede changes in presumed determinants of F&V intake, such as liking of F&V.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the long-term effects of the Schoolgruiten Project, a Dutch primary school-based intervention providing free fruit and vegetables (F&V). In addition, we assessed whether children's appreciation of the project mediated these intervention effects. Participating schoolchildren (mean age 9.9 years at baseline) and their parents completed parallel questionnaires at baseline, at 1-year and at 2-year follow-up, including questions on usual F&V intake of the child, potential behavioural determinants, their appreciation of the project and general demographics. Primary outcomes were usual F&V intakes as assessed by parent and child self-reported food frequency measures. Secondary outcome measures were taste preference, knowledge of daily recommendations, availability and accessibility for fruit intake. Multilevel linear regression analyses were used to assess differences at second follow-up adjusted for baseline values between control and intervention groups. Reports were available for 346 intervention children (148 parents) and 425 control children (287 parents). Both child and parent reports indicated that the intervention group had a significantly higher fruit intake at 2-year follow-up (difference, servings/d: 0.15; 95 % CI 0.004, 0.286 for child reports; 0.19; 95 % CI 0.030, 0.340 for parent reports). No significant effects on vegetable intake were observed. Significant positive intervention effects were also found for knowledge of fruit recommendations among boys. Some evidence was found for partial mediation analyses of the effects on fruit intake. The present study indicates that the Schoolgruiten scheme was effective in increasing children's fruit intake and that appreciation of the project partially mediated this effect.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2008 · Public Health Nutrition
Show more