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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2009 Jan-Feb;41(1):19-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2008.03.008.

Parent-reported eating and leisure-time activity selection patterns related to energy balance in preschool- and school-aged children.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA. hraynor@utk.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Compare parent-reported preschool- and school-aged children's eating and leisure-time activity patterns that are proposed to influence energy balance.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional investigation of children, 2 to 12 years, attending a well visit.

SETTING:

Pediatric private practice/ambulatory pediatric clinic.

PARTICIPANTS:

One hundred seventy-four children: 49% preschool-aged, 54% female, 28% Hispanic, and 34% overweight or at risk for overweight.

VARIABLES MEASURED:

Parent-reported eating/leisure-time behaviors. Height/weight from medical records.

ANALYSIS:

Analyses of covariance/chi-square tests; significance at P <or= .05.

RESULTS:

By parents' report, preschool-aged children consumed more servings/day of low-fat dairy (2.1 +/- 1.6 vs 1.7 +/- 1.5; P < .01), fewer servings/day of sweetened drinks (1.4 +/- 1.9 vs 2.2 +/- 2.6; P < .01) and watched fewer hours/day of weekend TV (2.3 +/- 1. 3 vs 2.7 +/- 1.3; P < .05) than school-aged children. Fewer preschool-aged children consumed salty (14.0% vs 26.1%; P < .05) and sweet (16.3% vs. 29.5%; P < .05) snack food daily, and a greater percentage regularly consumed dinner with a parent (93.0% vs 80.7%; P < .05), as assessed by parent report.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Parent-reported children's eating/leisure-time patterns that may influence energy balance were less healthful in the school-aged children. However, most children did not meet recommendations, irrespective of age or weight. Interventions for meeting recommendations should start with families with preschool-aged children. Future research should focus on identifying factors that might be contributing to increased reporting of problematic food and leisure-time activity patterns in school-aged children.

PMID:
19161916
PMCID:
PMC2654320
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2008.03.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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