Piloting a food photo sorting activity in Samoa to assess maternal beliefs and their role in child diet.
ABSTRACT: Eating habits begin forming early in life when parental beliefs and behaviours often play a major role in shaping dietary intake. We aimed to assess maternal beliefs about the cost, social status, and nutritional value of foods in Samoa-a setting with an alarming burden of childhood obesity-and to determine how those beliefs may be related to child dietary intake. Samoan mothers (n = 44) sorted photographs of 26 foods commonly consumed in children in Samoa by cost, social status, and nutritional value (healthfulness). Responses were then assessed for their association with child dietary intake (reported using a food frequency questionnaire) using Pearson correlations. Mothers indicated that traditional Samoan foods were healthier, of higher social status, and lower cost compared with non-traditional/imported food items. Compared with nutritional experts and a market survey of food prices, mothers demonstrated strong nutritional (r = .87, 95% CI [0.68, 0.95], p < .001) and consumer (r = .84, 95% CI [0.68, 0.93], p < .001) knowledge. The perceived cost of food was more strongly associated (r = -.37, 95% CI [-0.66, 0.02], p = .06) with child dietary intake than either healthfulness or social status, with decreasing consumption reported with increasing food cost. Our findings contradicted the notion that the high social status of imported foods may be contributing to increased intake and rising prevalence of childhood obesity in this developing country setting. Despite their nutritional knowledge, Samoan mothers may need additional support in applying their knowledge/beliefs to provide a healthy child diet, including support for access to reasonably priced healthy foods.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake is a substantial source of energy in the diet of US children.<h4>Objective</h4>We examined the associations between mothers' child-feeding practices and SSB intake among 6-y-old children.<h4>Methods</h4>We analyzed data from the Year 6 Follow-up of the Infant Feeding Practices Study II in 1350 US children aged 6 y. The outcome variable was child's SSB intake. The exposure variables were 4 child-feeding practices of mothers: setting limits on sweets or junk foods, regulating their child's favorite food intake to prevent overconsumption, pressuring their child to eat enough, and pressuring their child to "clean the plate." We used multinomial logistic regression and controlled for child and maternal characteristics. Analyses were stratified on child weight status.<h4>Results</h4>The consumption of SSBs ?1 time/d was observed among 17.1% of underweight/normal-weight children and in 23.2% of overweight/obese children. Adjusted ORs (aORs) of consuming SSBs ?1 time/d (vs. no SSB consumption) were significantly lower in children whose mothers reported setting limits on sweets/junk foods (aOR: 0.29; 95% CI: 0.15, 0.58 for underweight/normal-weight children; aOR: 0.16; 95% CI: 0.03, 0.79 for overweight/obese children). SSB intake was higher among underweight/normal-weight children whose mothers reported trying to keep the child from eating too much of their favorite foods (aOR: 2.03; 95% CI: 1.25, 3.29). Mothers' tendency to pressure their children to consume more food or to "clean the plate" was not associated with child's SSB intake.<h4>Conclusions</h4>SSBs were commonly consumed by young children. The odds of daily SSB intake were lower among children whose mothers set limits on sweets/junk foods regardless of child's weight but were higher among underweight/normal-weight children whose mothers restricted the child's favorite food intake. Future studies can investigate the impact of alternatives to restrictive feeding practices that could reduce children's SSB intake.
Project description:The effects of the home environment on child health behaviors related to obesity are unclear.To examine the role of the home physical activity (PA) and food environment on corresponding outcomes in young children, and assess maternal education/work status as a moderator.Overweight or obese mothers reported on the home PA and food environment (accessibility, role modeling and parental policies). Outcomes included child moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) and sedentary time derived from accelerometer data and two dietary factors ('junk' and healthy food intake scores) based on factor analysis of mother-reported food intake. Linear regression models assessed the net effect (controlling for child demographics, study arm, supplemental time point, maternal education/work status, child body mass index and accelerometer wear time (for PA outcomes)) of the home environment on the outcomes and moderation by maternal education/work status. Data were collected in North Carolina from 2007 to 2011.Parental policies supporting PA increased MVPA time, and limiting access to unhealthy foods increased the healthy food intake score. Role modeling of healthy eating behaviors increased the healthy food intake score among children of mothers with no college education. Among children of mothers with no college education and not working, limiting access to unhealthy foods and role modeling reduced 'junk' food intake scores whereas parental policies supporting family meals increased 'junk' food intake scores.To promote MVPA, parental policies supporting child PA are warranted. Limited access to unhealthy foods and role modeling of healthy eating may improve the quality of the child's food intake.
Project description:This study investigated the dietary intake of pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and their beliefs relating to the consumption of fruits and vegetables (F&V) and sugary foods and drinks. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 239 pregnant women with GDM in Cape Town. Dietary intake was assessed using a quantified Food Frequency Questionnaire and beliefs relating to food choices were assessed using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). The mean energy intake was 7268 KJ, carbohydrate was 220 (±104.5) g, protein 60.3 (±27.5) g and fat 67.7 (±44.2) g. The macronutrient distribution was 55% carbohydrates, 14.5% protein and 30.5% fat of total energy. The majority of the sample had inadequate intakes of vitamin D (87.4%), folate (96.5%) and iron (91.3%). The median (IQR) amount of added table sugar and sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) was 4.0 (0.00?12.5) g and 17.9 (0.0?132.8) mL per day, respectively. Only 31.4% met the recommendation (400 g per day) for F&V. Beliefs that it was not easy to exclude sugary foods/drinks and that knowing how to control cravings for sugary foods/drinks are areas to target messages on the sugar content of SSBs. In conclusion, the dietary intake of these women was not optimal and fell short of several nutritional guidelines for pregnant women with hyperglycaemia. The strongly held beliefs regarding sugary foods/drinks may contribute to poor adherence to nutritional guidelines among pregnant women with GDM in South Africa.
Project description:A family-based behavioral nutrition intervention grounded in Social Cognitive and Self-Determination Theories showed an increased intake of whole plant foods. This study examined 1) whether the intervention changed parent diet-related attitudes/beliefs, 2) whether these attitudes/beliefs were associated with youth diet quality, and 3) the moderating roles of youth age and parent nutritional knowledge. Youth with type 1 diabetes and their parents (n = 136, mean ± SD youth age = 12.6 ± 2.8 years) participated in an 18-month trial targeting intake of whole plant foods. Parents reported attitudes/beliefs (self-efficacy, outcome expectations, perceived barriers, autonomous and controlled motivation) for providing healthy food to their families, and type 1 diabetes-specific nutrition knowledge at 6, 12, and 18 months. Whole Plant Food Density (WPFD; cup or ounce equivalents per 1000 kcal of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds) was calculated from 3-day youth food records. Linear mixed models estimated the intervention effect on parent attitudes/beliefs, associations of parent attitudes/beliefs with youth WPFD and the moderating roles of parent nutrition knowledge and youth age. There was no effect of the intervention on parent attitudes/beliefs. Across groups, higher parent self-efficacy and autonomous motivation were positively associated with youth WPF. Parent perceived barriers and negative outcome expectations were inversely associated with youth WPFD, especially when parents had higher nutrition knowledge. Youth age did not modify any associations. Parent diet-related attitudes/beliefs were associated with youth diet quality, highlighting the importance of parent psychosocial factors across this age range. Despite a positive effect on youth diet, the intervention did not affect parent attitudes/beliefs, suggesting it worked through a different mechanism.
Project description:Despite recommendations to the contrary, consumption of discretionary (energy-dense, nutrient-poor) foods begins for some children early in the weaning period, and the proportion of children consuming discretionary foods increases markedly in the second year of life. The purpose of this study was to determine intake and sources of discretionary foods in a cohort of 828 Australian toddlers (mean age: 13.1mo), and to identify determinants of discretionary food intake. At approximately 12 months of age, 3 non-consecutive days of dietary intake data were collected using a 24-h recall and 2-day food record, and the percentage total energy derived from discretionary foods was estimated. Linear regression was used to identify associations between discretionary food intake and socio-demographic determinants (mother's age, level of education, country of birth, pre-pregnancy body mass index, socioeconomic position, parity, age of child when mother returned to work, and child's sex) and age at which complementary foods were introduced. The average energy intake of children in this cohort was 4040 (±954.7 SD) kJ with discretionary foods contributing an average of 11.2% of total energy. Sweet biscuits, and cakes, muffins, scones and cake-type desserts contributed 10.8% and 10.2% of energy intake from discretionary foods, respectively. Other key contributors to energy intake from discretionary foods included sausages, frankfurters and saveloys (8.3%), vegetable products and dishes where frying was the main cooking technique (8.6%), butter (7.3%), and finally manufactured infant sweet or savory snack foods (9.3%). Higher intakes of discretionary food were associated with children having two or more siblings (p = 0.002), and being born to younger mothers (<25 years) (p = 0.008) and mothers born in Australia or the United Kingdom (p < 0.001). Parents, in particular young mothers and those with larger families, need practical guidance on how much of, and how often, these foods should be eaten by their children.
Project description:To identify food intake profiles of children during their first four years of life and assess its variations according to sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics.The Pelotas Birth Cohort Study (Brazil) recruited 4,231 liveborns, who were followed-up at ages 3, 12, 24 and 48 months. Food consumption data of children aged 12, 24 and 48 months was collected using a list of foods consumed during a 24-hour period prior to the interview. The food profiles were identified with the use of principal component analysis (PCA) for each age studied.Five components were identified at each age, four of them similar in all time points, namely: beverages, milks, staple, and snacks. A meat & vegetables component was identified at 12 and 24 months and a treats component at 48 months. The greatest nutritional differences were found among children from different socioeconomic levels. With regard to the milks component, higher breast milk intake compared to cow's milk was seen among poorer children (12- and 24-month old) and higher milk and chocolate powdered milk drink consumption was seen among more affluent children aged 48 months. Poorer children of less educated mothers showed higher adherence to the treats component (48 months). Regarding to the snack component, poorer children consumed more coffee, bread/cookies while more affluent children consumed proportionately more fruits, yogurt and soft drinks. Child care outside of the home was also a factor influencing food profiles more aligned with a healthier diet.The study results showed that very early in life children show food profiles that are strongly associated with social (maternal schooling, socioeconomic position and child care) and behavioral characteristics (breast-feeding duration, bottle-feeding and pacifier use).
Project description:A qualitative study was conducted to explore mothers' insights on the growth of school-age children in a rural Health and Demographic site of Limpopo Province, in South Africa. The participants were selected using purposive sampling. Data were collected from seven focus group discussions, which were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. NVivo10 was used to analyse interview transcripts, following qualitative thematic analysis. Fifty-four mothers aged between 27 and 52 years were interviewed. Unfavourable sociodemographic status with poor living conditions of mothers were observed, particularly in terms of unemployment, minimal tertiary education, and rural locality. The perceptions of mothers on child growth linked growth of their children to various factors such as poverty and socioeconomic status, genetic/family heredity, and household environment. Mothers further related child growth to purchasing power and decisions regarding types of food, food unavailability, affordability issues, feeding beliefs and practices; and child food preferences, school feeding schemes, and maternal and societal cultural beliefs and practices. Despite their concerns, mothers perceived that their children were growing well, but differently. It is worth noting that the views of mothers on child growth were up to their aptitude level and might have been restricted due to their level of education and rural locality. Hence, there is a need for novel information, education, and communication strategies to effectively reach mothers, especially in rural areas, regarding the importance of identifying children with growth failure and its prevention. Mothers should be able to identify when a child is affected by growth failure and to seek healthcare, in order to prevent children from progressing to severe forms. This study informs on the timing of nutritional interventions for children and context-specific health promotion and health education programs to improve the knowledge of mothers on child growth.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:Pregnancy, infancy, and toddlerhood are sensitive times in which families are particularly vulnerable to household food insecurity and when disparities in child obesity emerge. Understanding obesity-promoting infant-feeding beliefs, styles, and practices in the context of food insecurity could better inform both food insecurity and child obesity prevention interventions and policy guidelines. METHODS:We performed purposive sampling of low-income Hispanic mothers (n = 100) with infants in the first 2 years of life, all of whom were participants in a randomized controlled trial of an early child obesity prevention intervention called the Starting Early Program. Bilingual English-Spanish interviewers conducted semistructured qualitative interviews, which were audio recorded, transcribed, and translated. By using the constant comparative method, transcripts were coded through an iterative process of textual analysis until thematic saturation was reached. RESULTS:Three key themes emerged: (1) contributors to financial strain included difficulty meeting basic needs, job instability, and high vulnerability specific to pregnancy, infancy, and immigration status; (2) effects on infant feeding included decreased breastfeeding due to perceived poor maternal diet, high stress, and limiting of healthy foods; and (3) coping strategies included both home- and community-level strategies. CONCLUSIONS:Stakeholders in programs and policies to prevent poverty-related disparities in child obesity should consider and address the broader context by which food insecurity is associated with contributing beliefs, styles, and practices. Potential strategies include addressing misconceptions about maternal diet and breast milk adequacy, stress management, building social support networks, and connecting to supplemental nutrition assistance programs.
Project description:Food insecurity is associated with nutritional risk in children. This study identified and compared the most frequently consumed foods, beverages, and food groups and their contributions to energy intake among U.S. children and adolescents (6-11, 12-17 years) by food security status. Dietary intake from the day-1, 24-h dietary recall, and household child food security status were analyzed in the 2007-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n = 8123). Foods and beverages were classified into food categories, ranked, and compared by weighted proportional frequency and energy contribution for food security groups by age. Significant differences between household child food security groups were determined using the Rao-Scott modified chi-square statistic. The weighted proportional frequency of beverages (including diet, sweetened, juice, coffee, and tea) and their energy was significantly higher among food insecure compared with food secure while the reverse was true for water frequency among 12-17 years. Beverage and mixed dish frequency were higher among food insecure compared with food secure 6-11 years while the reverse was true for frequency and energy from snacks. Frequency-differentiated intake patterns for beverages and snacks by food security across age groups may inform dietary recommendations, population-specific dietary assessment tools, interventions, and policy for food insecure children.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In Asia, little is known about how maternal feeding practices are associated with dietary intakes and body mass index (BMI) in preschoolers. OBJECTIVE:To assess the relationships between maternal feeding practices with dietary intakes and BMI in preschoolers in Asia using cross-sectional analysis in the GUSTO (Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes) cohort. PARTICIPANT SETTINGS:Mothers (n = 511) who completed the Comprehensive Feeding Practices Questionnaire (CFPQ) and a semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) when children were 5 years old. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:Associations between 12 maternal feeding practices (mean scores divided into tertiles) and children's dietary intakes of seven food groups and BMI z-scores were examined using the general linear regression model. Weight and height of the child were measured, and dietary intakes derived from the FFQ. RESULTS:Compared to those in the low tertile, mothers in the high tertile of modelling healthy food intakes had children with higher intakes of vegetables[+20.0g/day (95%CI:11.6,29.5)] and wholegrains[+ 20.9g/day (9.67,31.1)] but lower intakes of sweet snacks[-10.1g/day (-16.3,-4.94)] and fast-foods[-5.84g/day (-10.2,-1.48)]. Conversely, children of mothers in the high tertile for allowing child control (lack of parental control) had lower intake of vegetables[-15.2g/day (-26.6,-5.21)] and wholegrains[-13.6g/day (-22.9,-5.27)], but higher intakes of sweet snacks[+13.7g/day (7.7, 19.8)] and fast-foods[+6.63g/day (3.55,9.72)]. In relation to BMI at 5 years, food restrictions for weight was associated with higher BMI z-scores [0.86SD (0.61,1.21)], while use of pressure was associated with lower BMI z-scores[-0.49SD(-0.78,-0.21)]. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:Modelling healthy food intakes by mothers was the key feeding practice associated with higher intakes of healthy foods and lower intakes of discretionary foods. The converse was true for allowing child control. Only food restrictions for weight and use of pressure were associated with BMI z-scores.