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Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Sep;56(3):593-8.

Parent-child relationships in nutrient intake: the Framingham Children's Study.

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  • 1Evans Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, MA 02118.


Nutrient intake affects many of the identified risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). Although CHD risk factors have been shown to aggregate within families, less is known about the familial aggregation of nutrient intake. We analyzed diet records for an average of 9 d per subject on 87 mothers, 83 fathers, and 91 children aged 3-5 y. A statistically significant but modest correlation (r less than 0.50) was found between parents' and children's intakes for most nutrients. The intake of nutrients was more strongly related between mothers and children than between fathers and children, and there was a stronger association with children's values for parents consuming more meals at home. The results of this study confirm that parents' eating habits have an impact on the nutrient intake of their preschool children; the study furnishes indirect support for dietary-intervention programs targeting families for the primary prevention of CHD.

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