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Associations between the home food environment and obesity-promoting eating behaviors in adolescence

journal contribution
posted on 2007-03-01, 00:00 authored by Karen CampbellKaren Campbell, David CrawfordDavid Crawford, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Alison Carver, S Garnett, L Baur
Objective: This study examines relationships between multiple aspects of the home food environment and obesity-promoting characteristics of 12- to 13-year-old adolescents' diets, specifically frequency of consumption of high-energy fluids, sweet snacks, savory snacks, and take-out foods.

Research Methods: This was a cross-sectional study including 347 adolescents 12 to 13 years of age and their parents. Data were collected via self-completed surveys. The adolescents' diets were assessed using a Food Frequency Questionnaire derived from existing age-appropriate National Nutrition Survey data. An extensive range of domains within the home food environment were assessed. Bivariate linear regression analyses were run split by gender. Forced entry multiple linear regression analyses (adjusting for all variables significant in bivariate analyses as well as for maternal education) were also performed, stratified by the sex of the child.

Results: The influence of mothers, either as models for eating behaviors or as the providers of food, was pervasive. Mothers' intake of high-energy fluids (p = 0.003), sweet snacks (p = 0.010), savory snacks (p = 0.008), and take-out food (p = 0.007) was positively associated with boys' intake of all these foods. In addition, mothers' intake of high-energy fluids was positively associated with daughters' consumption of these drinks (p = 0.025). Furthermore, availability of unhealthy foods at home was positively associated with girls' sweet snack (p = 0.001), girls' savory snack (p < 0.001), boys' savory snack (p = 0.002), and, in the bivariate analyses, girls' high-energy fluid consumption (p = 0.002).

Discussion: This study of home food environment influences on adolescent diet highlights the pervasive influence of mothers in determining adolescents' obesity-promoting eating, providing direction for obesity prevention strategies and future research.









719 - 730


Nature Publishing Group


London, England





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2007, NAASO