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Appetite. 2013 Oct;69:8-14. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.05.003. Epub 2013 May 15.

Parental food involvement predicts parent and child intakes of fruits and vegetables.

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  • 1University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK.


In order to develop successful interventions to improve children's diets, the factors influencing food choice need to be understood. Parental food involvement - the level of importance of food in a person's life - may be one of many important factors. The aim of this study was to determine whether parental food involvement is associated with parents' and children's diet quality. As part of an intervention study, 394 parents with children aged between 18 months and 5 years were recruited from children's centres in Cornwall and Islington, UK. Questionnaires were used to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics, parents' diets, and attitudes towards food including food involvement. Children's diets were assessed using the multiple pass 24 h recall method. Parents reported low intakes of fruits and vegetables and high intakes of sugary items for themselves and their young children. Parental food involvement was strongly correlated with consumption of fruits and vegetables (amount and diversity) for both parents and children. Correlations with consumption of sugary drinks and snacks/foods were not significant. These findings indicate that parental food involvement may influence consumption of fruits and vegetables, more so than sugary items. Further research is needed to investigate how parental food involvement could mediate dietary changes.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Child; Food involvement; Fruit; Parent; Vegetables

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