Electronic media use is becoming an increasingly important part of life for today's school-aged children. At the same time, concern of children's sleep habits has arisen, and cross-sectional studies have shown that electronic media use is associated with short sleep duration and sleep disturbances. The purpose of this longitudinal study was to investigate whether baseline electronic media use and media presence in a child's bedroom predicted sleep habits as well as changes in these sleep habits 18 months later among 10- to 11-year-old children in Finland.
The school-aged children (n=353, 51% girls) from 27 schools answered a questionnaire in 2006 and again 2008 in the Helsinki region of Finland. Electronic media use was measured by computer use and TV viewing. Media presence in a child's bedroom means the presence of a TV or a computer in a child's bedroom. Sleep habits were measured by bedtimes on school days and at the weekend days, sleep duration, discrepancy of bedtimes, and discrepancy of sleep duration between school days and weekends. Linear regression analyses were used to examine whether electronic media use and media presence predicted sleep habits with adjustments for grade, family structure, and baseline sleep. Gender differences were also examined.
The children used a computer for one hour per day and watched TV over one hour a day in 2006. They slept over nine hours on school days and over ten hours at the weekends in 2008. Computer use and television viewing predicted significantly shorter sleep duration (p
We examined whether there are sex differences in children's fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and in descriptive norms (i.e. perceived FV intake) related to parents and friends. We also studied whether friends' impact is as important as that of parents on children's FV intake. Data from the PRO GREENS project in Finland were obtained from 424 children at the age 11 years at baseline. At baseline, 2009 children filled in a questionnaire about descriptive norms conceptualised as perceived FV intake of their parents and friends. They also filled in a validated FFQ that assessed their FV intake both at baseline and in the follow-up in 2010. The associations were examined with multi-level regression analyses with multi-group comparisons. Girls reported higher perceived FV intake of friends and higher own fruit intake at baseline, compared with boys, and higher vegetable intake both at baseline and in the follow-up. Perceived FV intake of parents and friends was positively associated with both girls' and boys' FV intake in both study years. The impact of perceived fruit intake of the mother was stronger among boys. The change in children's FV intake was affected only by perceived FV intake of father and friends. No large sex differences in descriptive norms were found, but the impact of friends on children's FV intake can generally be considered as important as that of parents. Future interventions could benefit from taking into account friends' impact as role models on children's FV intake.
A large proportion of young children spend most of their weekdays at preschool in Western countries. In Finland, three meals are included in a full day at preschool. These meals have the potential to promote healthy eating. This study aimed to obtain the personnel's (preschool teachers, day-care nurses) views on the factors influencing children's fruit, vegetable, and sugar-enriched food intake at preschool.
Four focus groups, in all 14 preschool personnel. Two researchers independently analysed the data using a socio-ecological framework.
At the child level, age, peers, and the child's personality were recognized as factors influencing the fruit and vegetable (FV) and sugar-enriched food intake. At the preschool level, both the physical and social environments were discussed thoroughly, whereas at the societal level, policies of the EU, the state, and the municipality were mentioned as factors that influence what children eat in preschool. The personnel also discussed the interactions between factors both between levels and within levels.
In Finnish preschools, children's food intake is influenced on and within several levels of the socio-ecological model. The identification of the factors influencing food intake allows different methods of intervention at multiple levels to promote healthy eating behaviours in preschools.
Studies investigating dietary resemblance between parents and their children have gained mixed results, and the resemblance seems to vary across nutrients, foods, dietary-assessment tools used, and parent-child pairs. We investigated parent-child dietary resemblance using a novel approach in applying statistical analysis, which allowed the comparison of 'whole-diet' between parents and their children. Additionally, we sought to establish whether sociodemographic factors or family meals were associated with dietary resemblance and whether parent-child dietary resemblance was dependent on the parent providing food consumption data on behalf of the child (father or mother, "the respondent").
The DAGIS study investigated health behaviors among Finnish preschoolers using a cross-sectional design. One parent filled in a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) measuring the child's food consumption outside preschool hours during the last week. In addition, we instructed both parents or legal guardians, should the child have two, to fill in a similar FFQ regarding their own food use. Parents also reported their educational level, the number of children living in the same household, and the number of family meals. As a measure of dietary resemblance between a parent and a child, we computed Spearman correlations ranging mostly from no resemblance (0) to complete resemblance (+?1) between parent-child pairs over the 'whole-diet' (excluding preschool hours). These resemblance measures were further investigated using linear mixed models.
We obtained 665 father-child and 798 mother-child resemblance measures. Mother-child resemblance was on average 0.57 and stronger than father-child resemblance (0.50, p?
The objective of this study was to investigate cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between different family characteristics and body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) in children.
This was a prospective follow-up study conducted in Helsinki region with data collected in 2006 and 2008. The sample consisted of 550 children aged 9-11 at baseline. Children were measured and weighed by research staff, and they completed a questionnaire about their family characteristics.
More meals together with the family, more parenting practices at meals, less time home without adult company after school, and child's perception of receiving care from mother in 2006 predicted a lower BMI in 2008 and partly a smaller increase in BMI from 2006 to 2008. Fewer associations were found to WHtR. Physical activity with either parent was not associated with BMI or WHtR.
Several family characteristics predicted child BMI and WHtR 2 years later. These results contribute new knowledge about parental influence on child weight and weight gain and should be taken into account when planning interventions on the matter.
Little is known about the mediating effects of the determinants of fruit and vegetable (FV) intake in school-based interventions that promote FV intake, and few studies have examined the impact of the degree of implementation on the effects of an intervention. The present study examined whether the degree of implementation of an intervention had an effect on children's fruit or vegetable intake and determined possible mediators of this effect. The study is part of the European PRO GREENS intervention study which aimed to develop effective strategies to promote consumption of fruit and vegetables in schoolchildren across Europe. Data from 727 Finnish children aged 11 years were used. The baseline study was conducted in spring 2009 and the follow-up study 12 months later. The intervention was conducted during the school year 2009-2010. The effects were examined using multilevel mediation analyses. A high degree of implementation of the intervention had an effect on children's fruit intake. Knowledge of recommendations for FV intake and liking mediated the association between a high degree of implementation of the intervention and an increase in the frequency of fruit intake. Knowledge of recommendations for FV intake and bringing fruits to school as a snack mediated the association between a low degree of implementation of the intervention and an increase in the frequency of fruit intake. Overall, the model accounted for 34 % of the variance in the change in fruit intake frequency. Knowledge of recommendations acted as a mediator between the degree of implementation of the intervention and the change in vegetable intake frequency. In conclusion, the degree of implementation had an effect on fruit intake, and thus in future intervention studies the actual degree of implementation of interventions should be assessed when considering the effects of interventions.