Association of parent psychosocial variables and behaviors with child vegetable intake and weight status
Introduction Child overweight and obesity is a significant public health issue and increasingly popular area of health research. Schools provide a consistent setting to reach children and implement health interventions. The Texas Grow! Eat! Go! Project combines nutrition education, physical activity programming, and school garden programming with the aim of improving child nutrition knowledge, health behaviors and outcomes. The present study examines the association of various parent attributes including self-efficacy to cook, fruit and vegetable availability in the home, modeling of healthy behaviors, and gardening experience with child fruit and vegetable consumption and child weight status at baseline. Methods The study sample includes 498 parents (82.1% female; 12.5% male) and their 3rd grade child (52.0% female; 46.6% male) attending 16 different low-income elementary schools in four different school districts across the state of Texas. Each parent and child completed a self-report survey and trained research staff collected anthropometric data from the children. The student survey items included in the present study include seven items measuring fruit and vegetable consumption as well as demographic items including age and gender. The parent survey items included in the present study include items measuring self-efficacy to cook (6 items), fruit and vegetable availability in the home (6 items), modeling of healthy behavior (4 items), and gardening experience (7 items). Hypotheses 1a-1d employ t-test and ANOVA analysis to compare child fruit and vegetable consumption across high and low levels of the aforementioned attributes exhibited by parents. Hypotheses 2a-2d employ chi-square and logistic regression analysis to examine child weight status across high and low levels of the attributes reported by parents. All hypotheses were examined through regression analysis to adjust for potential confounding variables such as ethnicity, marital status, education level, and socioeconomic status. Results Compared to children whose parents exhibited low levels of the aforementioned parent attributes, children of parents who exhibited high levels of the attributes did not report significantly higher levels of fruit and vegetable consumption nor significantly lower weight status. While significant associations were not observed, parents reporting low levels of the attributes did have a higher percentage of overweight and obese children as compared to parents reporting high levels of the attributes. Conclusion Findings do not support the hypotheses that parent attributes including self-efficacy to cook, fruit and vegetable availability in the home, modeling of healthy behaviors, and parent gardening experience are associated with child fruit and vegetable consumption and child weight status. However, due to limitations of the parent survey data, it is difficult to draw significant conclusions from the present study. Further research with more specific and detailed instruments is needed to more accurately examine the relationship of parental gardening and cooking skills, experience, attitudes, behaviors, and confidence with child weight status and FV consumption.
Social psychology|Nutrition|Public health
Nemec, Cori Elizabeth, "Association of parent psychosocial variables and behaviors with child vegetable intake and weight status" (2013). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1549925.