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J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Mar;111(3):425-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.12.013.

The relationship between child and parent food hedonics and parent and child food group intake in children with overweight/obesity.

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Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-1920, USA.


Many factors influence children's dietary intake, including children's and parents' food hedonics (liking), and parent intake. This secondary data analysis studied the relationship between child and parent liking, and parent intake and child intake of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, snack foods, and sweetened beverages in 4- to 9-year-old overweight/obese (body mass index ≥85th percentile) children presenting for obesity treatment (September 2005 to September 2007) in Providence, RI. One hundred thirty-five parent-child pairs, with complete baseline dietary (3-day food record) and food group hedonic data were included. Hedonic ratings were mean ratings using a 5-point Likert scale (lower scores represented greater liking of a food group). Children were aged 7.2±1.6 years, 63.0% girls, 12.6% African American, and 17.8% Hispanic, with a mean body mass index z score of 2.3±0.6. Total servings consumed by children over 3 days were: fruits 2.7±3.2, vegetables 3.4±2.5, low-fat dairy 2.4±2.1, snack foods 5.9±4.2, and sweetened beverages 2.7±3.1. After demographic and anthropometric variables were controlled, parent intake was positively related (P<0.05) to child intake of all food groups except sweetened beverages. Child liking was only significantly (P<0.05) related to child intake of vegetables. In young children with obesity/overweight, parent intake was consistently related to child intake. Changing parent intake may be important in helping to change the dietary intake of young children with overweight/obesity.

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