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Family food involvement and frequency of famiy dinner meals among Australian children aged 10-12 years. Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with dietary patterns
journal contributionposted on 2014-04-01, 00:00 authored by Rebecca LeechRebecca Leech, Sarah McNaughtonSarah McNaughton, David CrawfordDavid Crawford, Karen CampbellKaren Campbell, N Pearson, Anna TimperioAnna Timperio
Involvement in meal preparation and eating meals with the family are associated with better dietary patterns in adolescents, however little research has included older children or longitudinal study designs. This 3-year longitudinal study examines cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between family food involvement, family dinner meal frequency and dietary patterns during late childhood. Questionnaires were completed by parents of 188 children from Greater Melbourne, Australia at baseline in 2002 (mean age = 11.25 years) and at follow-up in 2006 (mean age = 14.16 years). Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to identify dietary patterns. Factor analysis (FA) was used to determine the principal factors from six indicators of family food involvement. Multiple linear regression models were used to predict the dietary patterns of children and adolescents at baseline and at follow-up, 3 years later, from baseline indicators of family food involvement and frequency of family dinner meals. PCA revealed two dietary patterns, labeled a healthful pattern and an energy-dense pattern. FA revealed one factor for family food involvement. Cross-sectionally among boys, family food involvement score (β = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.02, 1.07) and eating family dinner meals daily (β = 1.11, 95% CI: 0.27, 1.96) during late childhood were positively associated with the healthful pattern. Eating family dinner meals daily was inversely associated with the energy-dense pattern, cross-sectionally among boys (β = −0.56, 95% CI: −1.06, −0.06). No significant cross-sectional associations were found among girls and no significant longitudinal associations were found for either gender. Involvement in family food and eating dinner with the family during late childhood may have a positive influence on dietary patterns of boys. No evidence was found to suggest the effects on dietary patterns persist into adolescence.