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J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Jan;102(1):58-64.

Parental influences on young girls' fruit and vegetable, micronutrient, and fat intakes.

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Department of Pediatrics, US Department of Agriculture Children's Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.



To evaluate parents' fruit and vegetable intake and their use of pressure to eat in child feeding as predictors of their 5-year-old daughters' fruit and vegetable, micronutrient, and fat intakes.


Data were obtained from 191 non-Hispanic white families with 5-year-old girls.


Parent data included reports of pressure in child feeding and their own fruit and vegetable intake. Girls' intakes of fruits and vegetables, selected micronutrients, and fat were the main outcomes of interest.


Structural equation modeling was used to test a model describing relationships among parents' fruit and vegetable intake, parents' use of pressure in child feeding, and daughters' fruit and vegetable, micronutrient, and fat intakes.


The model provided a good fit to the data, revealing that girls' fruit and vegetable intake was positively related to their parents' reported fruit and vegetable intake. Parents who consumed fewer fruits and vegetables tended to report greater pressure in child feeding and had daughters who consumed fewer fruits and vegetables. Girls' reported fruit and vegetable intakes were positively related to their micronutrient intakes and negatively associated with fat intake.


This research demonstrates that parents' own fruit and vegetable intake may encourage fruit and vegetable intake in their daughters, leading to higher micronutrient intakes and lower dietary fat intakes. Conversely, pressure to eat may discourage fruit and vegetable intake among young girls.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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