Differences in beliefs and home environments regarding energy balance behaviors according to parental education and ethnicity among schoolchildren in Europe: the ENERGY cross sectional study.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: To explore differences in personal and home environmental factors that are regarded as determinants of energy balance-related behaviors (EBRBs) according to parental education and ethnic background among 10-12 year old schoolchildren across Europe. METHODS: A school-based survey among 10-12 year olds was conducted in eight countries across Europe. A range of personal and home environment variables relevant for soft drink consumption, daily breakfast, sport participation and TV time was assessed by means of child report. Personal factors included attitude, health beliefs, and preference/liking. Home environment factors included parental subjective norm, modeling, support, practices and home availability. Children were classified based on parental education (i.e., low vs. high) and ethnic background (i.e., native vs. non-native). Data from 6018 children originating from 83 schools were included in the analyses. RESULTS: Multilevel logistic regression analyses showed that the majority of the factors tested -and especially home environment variables- were more favorable among children from higher educated parents and from native ethnicity. None of the personal and home environment factors was found to be more favorable among children from lower educated parents or non-native ethnicity. CONCLUSIONS: The present study indicates that schoolchildren from lower educated and non-native parents across Europe have EBRB-related beliefs and are exposed to home environments that are less favorable for engagement in healthy EBRBs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Parents and their parenting practices play an important role in shaping their children's environment and energy-balance related behaviours (EBRBs). Measurement of parenting practices can be parent- or child-informed, however not much is known about agreement between parent and child perspectives. This study aimed to assess agreement between parent and child reports on parental practices regarding EBRBs across different countries in Europe and to identify correlates of agreement. METHODS: Within the ENERGY-project, a cross-sectional survey was conducted among 10-12 year old children and their parents in eight European countries. Both children and parents filled in a questionnaire on 14 parental practices regarding five different EBRBs (i.e. soft drink, fruit juice and breakfast consumption, sports activity and watching TV) and socio-demographic characteristics. Children's anthropometric measurements were taken at school. We calculated percentages of agreement between children and their parents and weighted kappa statistics (for ordinal variables) per practice and country and assessed factors associated with agreement using multilevel linear regression. RESULTS: Reports of 6425 children and their parents were available for analysis. Overall mean agreement between parent and child reports was 43% and varied little among countries. The lowest agreement was found for questions assessing joint parent-child activities, such as sports (27%; Kappa (?)?= 0.14) or watching TV (30%; ? = 0.17), and for parental allowance of the child to have soft drinks (32%; ? = 0.24) or fruit juices (32%; ? = 0.19), or to watch TV (27%; ? = 0.17). Having breakfast products available at home or having a TV in the child's bedroom were the only practices with moderate to good agreement (>60%; ? = 0.06 and 0.77, respectively). In general, agreement was lower for boys, younger children, younger parents, parents with less than 14 years of education, single parents, parents with a higher self-reported body mass index and parents who perceived their child to be underweight. CONCLUSIONS: Parents and children perceive parental practices regarding dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviours differently in all parts of Europe, with considerable variation across specific practices and countries. Therefore, future studies should assess both, parents and children's view on parental practices.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Obesity treatment is by large ineffective long term, and more emphasis on the prevention of excessive weight gain in childhood and adolescence is warranted. To inform energy balance related behaviour (EBRB) change interventions, insight in the potential personal, family and school environmental correlates of these behaviours is needed. Studies on such multilevel correlates of EBRB among schoolchildren in Europe are lacking. The ENERGY survey aims to (1) provide up-to-date prevalence rates of measured overweight, obesity, self-reported engagement in EBRBs, and objective accelerometer-based assessment of physical activity and sedentary behaviour and blood-sample biomarkers of metabolic function in countries in different regions of Europe, (2) to identify personal, family and school environmental correlates of these EBRBs. This paper describes the design, methodology and protocol of the survey. METHOD/DESIGN: A school-based cross-sectional survey was carried out in 2010 in seven different European countries; Belgium, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, and Spain. The survey included measurements of anthropometrics, child, parent and school-staff questionnaires, and school observations to measure and assess outcomes (i.e. height, weight, and waist circumference), EBRBs and potential personal, family and school environmental correlates of these behaviours including the social-cultural, physical, political, and economic environmental factors. In addition, a selection of countries conducted accelerometer measurements to objectively assess physical activity and sedentary behaviour, and collected blood samples to assess several biomarkers of metabolic function. DISCUSSION: The ENERGY survey is a comprehensive cross-sectional study measuring anthropometrics and biomarkers as well as assessing a range of EBRBs and their potential correlates at the personal, family and school level, among 10-12 year old children in seven European countries. This study will result in a unique dataset, enabling cross country comparisons in overweight, obesity, risk behaviours for these conditions as well as the correlates of engagement in these risk behaviours.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although there are many interventions targeting childhood obesity prevention, only few have demonstrated positive results. The current review aimed to gather and evaluate available school-based intervention studies with family involvement targeting dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviors among primary schoolchildren and their families, in order to identify the most effective strategies. METHODS:Studies published between 2000 and January 2015 were retrieved from scientific electronic databases and grey literature. The databases used included MEDLINE/PubMed, Web-of-Science, CINAHL and Scopus. Included studies had to be experimental controlled studies and had duration over 1 school year, had family involvement, combined PA and dietary behaviors and were implemented in school setting. A complementary search was executed to update the review to cover the period from February 2015 to January 2019. RESULTS:From the studies examined (n?=?425), 27 intervention programs (33 publications) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Among these, 15 presented significant effect on weight status and/ or overweight/ obesity or clinical indices, 3 presented significant effect on most energy balance-related behaviors (EBRBs) while 9 presented significant effect on some/few EBRBs or determinants. Strategies implemented in effective interventions were: teachers acting as role-models and being actively involved in the delivery of the intervention, school policies supporting the availability of healthy food and beverage choices and limiting unhealthy snacks, changes in the schoolyard, in the recess rules and in the physical education classes to increase physical activity, and involving parents in the intervention via assignments, meetings, informative material and encouraging them to improve the home environment. Use of incentives for children, social marketing techniques, collaboration with local stakeholders were found to increase effectiveness. Programs that focused only on educational sessions and material for parents, without promoting relevant environmental and policy changes, were found to be less effective. Cultural adaptations have been suggested to increase the intervention's acceptance in specific or vulnerable population groups. CONCLUSIONS:Several effective strategies were identified in the reviewed programs. Outcomes of the current review were taken into account in developing the Feel4Diabetes-intervention and summed up as recommendations in the current work in order to facilitate other researchers designing similar childhood obesity prevention initiatives.
Project description:Current data on the prevalence of overweight and energy-balance behaviors among European children is necessary to inform overweight prevention interventions.A school-based survey among 10-12 year old children was conducted in seven European countries using a standardized protocol. Weight, height, and waist circumference were measured; Engagement in physical activity, sedentary and dietary behaviors, and sleep duration were self-reported. Descriptive analyses were conducted, looking at differences according to country, gender, and parental education. 7234 children (52%girls; 11.6 ± 0.7 years) participated. 25.8% and 5.4% of boys, and 21.8% and 4.1% of girls were overweight (including obese) and obese (according to International Obesity Task Force criteria), respectively. Higher prevalence of overweight/obesity was observed in Greece, Hungary, Slovenia and Spain than in Belgium, Netherlands and Norway. Large differences between countries were found in intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages, breakfast, active transport, TV and computer time. More favorable overweight status and behavior patterns were found in girls than boys and in children of higher educated parents than in children of lower educated parents.High levels and striking differences in overweight status and potential risk behaviors were found among schoolchildren across Europe.
Project description:This large-scale cross-sectional study of schoolchildren aged 8-12 years (N = 152) evaluates two factors which potentially determine individual differences in intentional learning: the child's sex and parental education. Intentional learning was assessed with a newly constructed Pictorial Verbal Learning Task (PVLT). This task presents line drawings of concrete objects as to-be-remembered information instead of written or auditory presented words. The PVLT has the advantage that performance is not confounded by individual differences in reading or hearing abilities. Results revealed clear sex differences in performance: Girls outperformed boys. Parental education also contributed to individual differences in performance since children of higher educated parents outperformed children of lower educated parents. The results therefore suggest that both sex and parental education could be potent contributors to individual differences in learning performance at school. The findings more specifically imply that children of less educated parents and boys need additional guidance and support in intentional learning when new information and procedures are presented for the first time.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Research has demonstrated a significant positive association between frequent family meals and children's dietary intake; however, the promotion of healthful family meals has not been rigorously tested for key food environment and nutrition-related behavioral outcomes in a randomized trial. OBJECTIVE:To describe family home food environment and nutrition-related parent and child personal and behavioral outcomes of the Healthy Home Offerings via the Mealtime Environment Plus program, the first rigorously tested family meals intervention targeting childhood obesity prevention. DESIGN:Randomized controlled trial. Baseline, postintervention (12 months, 93% retention), and follow-up (21 months, 89% retention) data (surveys and dietary recalls) were collected. PARTICIPANTS/SETTING:Children aged 8 to 12 years (N=160) and their parents were randomized to intervention (n=81) or control (n=79) groups. INTERVENTION:The intervention included five parent goal-setting calls and 10 monthly sessions delivered to families in community settings that focused on experiential nutrition activities and education, meal planning, cooking skill development, and reducing screen time. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Family home food environment outcomes and nutrition-related child and parent personal and behavioral outcomes. STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED:Analyses used generalized linear mixed models. Primary comparisons were contrasts between intervention and control groups at postintervention and follow-up, with adjustments for child age and parent education. RESULTS:Compared with control parents, intervention parents showed greater improvement over time in scores of self-efficacy for identifying appropriate portion sizes, with significant differences in adjusted means at both post-intervention (P=0.002) and follow-up (P=0.01). Intervention children were less likely to consume at least one sugar-sweetened beverage daily at post-intervention than control children (P=0.04). CONCLUSIONS:The Healthy Home Offerings via the Mealtime Environment Plus program involved the entire family and targeted personal, behavioral, and environment factors important for healthful changes in the home food environment and children's dietary intake. The intervention improved two nutrition-related behaviors and this may inform the design of future family meal interventions.
Project description:The study examines the effects of a preschool-based family-involving multicomponent intervention on children's energy balance-related behaviors (EBRBs) such as food consumption, screen time and physical activity (PA), and self-regulation (SR) skills, and whether the intervention effects differed among children with low or high parental educational level (PEL) backgrounds. The Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools (DAGIS) intervention was conducted as a clustered randomized controlled trial, clustered at preschool level, over five months in 2017-2018. Altogether, 802 children aged 3-6 years in age participated. Parents reported children's consumption of sugary everyday foods and beverages, sugary treats, fruits, and vegetables by a food frequency questionnaire, and screen time by a 7-day diary. Physical activity was assessed by a hip-worn accelerometer. Cognitive and emotional SR was reported in a questionnaire by parents. General linear mixed models with and without repeated measures were used as statistical methods. At follow-up, no differences were detected in EBRBs or SR skills between the intervention and control group, nor did differences emerge in children's EBRBs between the intervention and the control groups when stratified by PEL. The improvement in cognitive SR skills among low PEL intervention children differed from low PEL control children, the significance being borderline. The DAGIS multicomponent intervention did not significantly affect children's EBRBs or SR. Further sub-analyses and a comprehensive process evaluation may shed light on the non-significant findings.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Unhealthy weight is a major global health concern. This study examines unhealthy weight among children in Spain and the role of the home environment therein. Data are from a 2010 national survey of families with children. We examined unhealthy weight among children ages 5-10 years using the WHO Child Growth Standards and used multivariate logistic regression to assess associations with family characteristics. RESULTS:There was a high prevalence of unhealthy weight, with only 46% of children at normal weight. Both underweight and obesity were higher among boys (14%; 22%) than girls (13%; 12%). Underweight and obesity were higher among children of mothers with obesity and those with unemployed parents. Obesity was higher among children of mothers who were less educated (35%) and among children of immigrants (19%). We find high levels of unhealthy weight in children, with both underweight and obesity being predicted by the same family environment characteristics.
Project description:Objectives:Despite growing awareness that children's education benefits the health of older parents, the underlying mechanisms of this relationship are not well-understood. We investigated (a) the associations between children's education and biological functioning of parents, (b) psychosocial and behavioral factors that explain the associations, and (c) gendered patterns in the associations. Methods:Using longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of older Taiwanese, we performed mediation analysis of the association between adult children's education and physiological dysregulation of their parents. Results:Offspring's schooling is inversely associated with parental inflammation after controlling for parental socioeconomic status and baseline health. Parents who have well-educated children report higher social standing and life satisfaction, experience fewer stressful events, and are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors related to smoking and diet. These factors moderately attenuate the associations between children's education and parental inflammation. There is no conclusive evidence that mothers and fathers benefit differently from having well-educated children. Discussion:Parents who devote family and personal resources to their offspring's schooling may have better biological profiles in later life. Well-educated children may promote their parents' wellbeing by strengthening perceived social status, reducing exposure to stressors, and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.
Project description:The majority of children under the age of 5 appear to show spontaneous enjoyment of singing, being exposed to music and interacting with musical instruments, but whether variations in engaging in such activities in the home could contribute to developmental outcomes is still largely unknown. Critically, researchers lack a comprehensive instrument with good psychometric properties to assess the home musical environment from infancy to the preschool years. To address this gap, this paper presents two studies that describe the development and validation of the Music@Home questionnaire, which comprises two versions: Infant and Preschool. In Study 1, an initial pool of items was generated and administered to a wide audience of parents (n = 287 for the Infant, n = 347 for the Preschool version). Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify different dimensions comprising the home musical environment of both infants and pre-schoolers, and to reduce the initial pool of items to a smaller number of meaningful items. In Study 2, convergent and divergent validity and internal and test-retest reliability of the new instrument were established, using data from a different sample of participants (n = 213 for the Infant, n = 213 for the Preschool version). The second study also investigated associations between the Music@Home and musical characteristics of the parents, such as their musical education and personal engagement with music. Overall, the Music@Home constitutes a novel, valid and reliable instrument that allows for the systematic assessment of distinct aspects of the home musical environment in families with children under the age of 5. Furthermore, the Infant and Preschool versions of the Music@Home present differential associations with musical characteristics of the parents opening a new area of inquiry into how musical exposure and interaction in the home may vary across different developmental stages.