Parent–Child Associations in Selected Food Group and Nutrient Intakes among Overweight and Obese Adolescents


      Few studies have compared parent–child dietary intake among adolescents who are overweight or obese. The purpose of our study was to determine the relationship between parent–teen intake of selected dietary components among this sample. Baseline data from 165 parent and adolescent (aged 11 to 16 years) pairs who presented for a lifestyle behavior modification intervention were collected between 2010 and 2012. Parent and adolescent dietary intake (servings of fruits and vegetables [F/V]; grams of sugar; and percent energy from total fat, saturated fat, dessert/treats, sugar-sweetened beverages, and snacks) was assessed using web-based 24-hour dietary recalls. Multivariable linear and negative binomial regression models identified associations between parent and child dietary intake adjusting for relevant covariates. A large proportion of adolescents and parents did not meet dietary recommendations for F/V, total fat, and saturated fat. Parent–adolescent intake of F/V, total fat, saturated fat, sugar, sugar-sweetened beverages, and snacks were positively associated (r=0.19 to 0.37). No relationship was observed for dessert/treats. In multivariate models, significant interaction effects suggest that the parent–child association in diet was weaker for fat intake among parents with higher educational attainment (b=–.31; P<0.05) and for snacking among adolescent boys (b=–.30; P<.05). Parent intake of several dietary components important for good health, and related to obesity, was associated with adolescent intake. Helping parents improve their diet may promote improvements in their adolescent's diet and is a potential target for interventions designed to increase healthy eating among adolescents.


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      A. W. Watts is a doctoral degree candidate, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


      C. Y. Lovato is a professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


      L. C. Mâsse is an associate professor, School of Population and Public Health and Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


      S. I. Barr is a professor, Food, Nutrition, and Health Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


      R. M. Hanning is a professor, School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada.