Parents have significant influence on behaviors and perceptions surrounding eating, body image and weight in adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of body weight dissatisfaction, difficulty in communication with the parents and the relationship between communication with parents and adolescents' dissatisfaction with their body weight (dieting or perceived need to diet).
Survey data were collected from adolescents in 24 countries and regions in Europe, Canada, and the USA who participated in the cross-sectional 2001/2002 Health Behaviour of School-Aged Children (HBSC) study. The association between communication with parents and body weight dissatisfaction was examined using binary logistic regression analysis.
Body weight dissatisfaction was highly prevalent and more common among girls than boys, among overweight than non-overweight, and among older adolescents than younger adolescents. Difficulty in talking to father was more common than difficulty in talking to mother in all countries and it was greater among girls than among boys and increased with age. Difficulties in talking to father were associated with weight dissatisfaction among both boys and girls in most countries. Difficulties in talking to mother were rarely associated with body weight dissatisfaction among boys while among girls this association was found in most countries.
The findings suggest that enhanced parent communication might contribute in most countries to less body dissatisfaction in girls and better communication with the father can help avoiding body weight dissatisfaction in boys. Professionals working with adolescents and their families should help adolescents to have a healthy weight and positive body image and promote effective parent-adolescent communication.
There is a need for valid and comprehensive measures of parental influence on children's energy balance-related behaviours (EBRB). Such measures should be based on a theoretical framework, acknowledging the dynamic and complex nature of interactions occurring within a family. The aim of the Family & Dietary habits (F&D) project was to develop a conceptual framework identifying important and changeable family processes influencing dietary behaviours of 13-15 year olds. A second aim was to develop valid and reliable questionnaires for adolescents and their parents (both mothers and fathers) measuring these processes.
A stepwise approach was used; (1) preparation of scope and structure, (2) development of the F&D questionnaires, (3) the conducting of pilot studies and (4) the conducting of validation studies (assessing internal reliability, test-retest reliability and confirmatory factor analysis) using data from a cross-sectional study.
The conceptual framework includes psychosocial concepts such as family functioning, cohesion, conflicts, communication, work-family stress, parental practices and parental style. The physical characteristics of the home environment include accessibility and availability of different food items, while family meals are the sociocultural setting included. Individual characteristics measured are dietary intake (vegetables and sugar-sweetened beverages) and adolescents' impulsivity. The F&D questionnaires developed were tested in a test-retest (54 adolescents and 44 of their parents) and in a cross-sectional survey including 440 adolescents (13-15 year olds), 242 mothers and 155 fathers. The samples appear to be relatively representative for Norwegian adolescents and parents. For adolescents, mothers and fathers, the test-retest reliability of the dietary intake, frequencies of (family) meals, work-family stress and communication variables was satisfactory (ICC: 0.53-0.99). Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-Brief (BIS-Brief) was included, assessing adolescent's impulsivity. The internal reliability (Cronbach's alphas: 0.77/0.82) and test-retest reliability values (ICC: 0.74/0.77) of BIS-Brief were good.
The conceptual framework developed may be a useful tool in guiding measurement and assessment of the home food environment and family processes related to adolescents' dietary habits, in particular and for EBRBs more generally. The results support the use of the F&D questionnaires as psychometrically sound tools to assess family characteristics and adolescent's impulsivity.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: An adequate fruit and vegetable intake provides essential nutrients and nutritive compounds and is considered an important part of a healthy lifestyle. No simple instrument has been available for the assessment of fruit and vegetable intake as well as its determinants in school-aged children applicable in different European countries. Within the Pro Children Project, such an instrument has been developed. This paper describes the cross-sectional survey in 11-year-olds in 9 countries. METHODS: The cross-sectional survey used nationally, and in 2 countries regionally, representative samples of schools and classes. The questionnaires, including a precoded 24-hour recall component and a food frequency part, were completed in the classroom. Data were treated using common syntax files for portion sizes and for merging of vegetable types into four subgroups. RESULTS: The results show that the fruit and vegetable intake in amounts and choice were highly diverse in the 9 participating countries. Vegetable intake was in general lower than fruit intake, boys consumed less fruit and vegetables than girls did. The highest total intake according to the 24-hour recall was found in Austria and Portugal, the lowest in Spain and Iceland. CONCLUSION: The fruit and vegetable intake in 11-year-old children was in all countries far from reaching population goals and food-based dietary guidelines on national and international levels.
OBJECTIVE: To describe and compare fruit and vegetable intakes of mothers of 11-year-old children across Europe. METHODS: Cross-sectional surveys were carried out in 9 European countries in October/November 2003. Self-administered questionnaires assessing fruit and vegetable consumption were used for data collection. The current paper presents dietary intake data obtained by a precoded 24-hour recall and a food frequency questionnaire. RESULTS: The consumption levels of fruit and vegetables (without fruit juice) were in line with World Health Organization recommendations of > or =400 g/day for only 27% of all participating mothers. Based on both instruments, the Pro Children results showed comparatively high average fruit intake levels in Portugal, Denmark and Sweden (211, 203 and 194 g/day) and the lowest intake in Iceland (97 g/day). High vegetable intake levels were found in Portugal and Belgium (169 and 150 g/day), the lowest in Spain (88 g/day). A south-north gradient could not be observed in the Pro Children study. CONCLUSION: Fruit and vegetable intakes are low in mothers of 11-year-olds across Europe. Especially vegetable consumption can be regarded as marginal in most of the studied European countries. A high percentage of mothers indicated to eat fruit and vegetables less than once a day. The results have shown that national and international interventions are necessary to promote fruit and especially vegetable consumption in the European population of mothers.
The aim was to investigate which individual and family environmental factors are related to television and computer time separately in 10- to-12-year-old children within and across five European countries (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Norway).
Data were used from the ENERGY-project. Children and one of their parents completed a questionnaire, including questions on screen time behaviours and related individual and family environmental factors. Family environmental factors included social, political, economic and physical environmental factors. Complete data were obtained from 2022 child-parent dyads (53.8 % girls, mean child age 11.2 ± 0.8 years; mean parental age 40.5 ± 5.1 years). To examine the association between individual and family environmental factors (i.e. independent variables) and television/computer time (i.e. dependent variables) in each country, multilevel regression analyses were performed using MLwiN 2.22, adjusting for children's sex and age.
In all countries, children reported more television and/or computer time, if children and their parents thought that the maximum recommended level for watching television and/or using the computer was higher and if children had a higher preference for television watching and/or computer use and a lower self-efficacy to control television watching and/or computer use. Most physical and economic environmental variables were not significantly associated with television or computer time. Slightly more individual factors were related to children's computer time and more parental social environmental factors to children's television time. We also found different correlates across countries: parental co-participation in television watching was significantly positively associated with children's television time in all countries, except for Greece. A higher level of parental television and computer time was only associated with a higher level of children's television and computer time in Hungary. Having rules regarding children's television time was related to less television time in all countries, except for Belgium and Norway.
Most evidence was found for an association between screen time and individual and parental social environmental factors, which means that future interventions aiming to reduce screen time should focus on children's individual beliefs and habits as well parental social factors. As we identified some different correlates for television and computer time and across countries, cross-European interventions could make small adaptations per specific screen time activity and lay different emphases per country.
Cites: Int J Epidemiol. 2012 Oct;41(5):1460-7123045206
Objective Several environmental factors influence adolescents' food habits and television (TV) viewing is thought to be one of these factors. The purpose of the present study was to describe sociodemographic differences in TV viewing and to examine associations of TV viewing with the consumption of sweets, soft drinks, fruit and vegetables in different countries.Methods Data were collected from 162 305 young people completing the 2001/02 Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children survey, a World Health Organization cross-national study on health and health behaviours among 11-, 13- and 15-year-old school pupils. Analyses of variance were used to examine sociodemographic differences in TV viewing and logistic regression analyses to examine associations between TV viewing and food habits.Results Large differences were found between countries in reported daily TV viewing time, from an average of 2.0 h in Switzerland to 3.7 h in Ukraine. The results indicate that those most likely to watch TV are boys, 13-year-olds and pupils of lower socio-economic status. Those who watched more TV were more likely to consume sweets and soft drinks on a daily basis and less likely to consume fruit and vegetables daily, although the latter associations were not so apparent among Central and Eastern European countries.Conclusions Given the high TV viewing rates among adolescents and the association with less healthy food options, many young people are at increased risk of overweight or obesity. Interventions to modify TV viewing behaviour are needed. The findings underscore the importance of tackling socio-economic differences.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Validity and reproducibility were evaluated of a new questionnaire to assess fruit and vegetable intakes in 11- to 12-year-old children. METHODS: The precoded teacher-assisted self-administered questionnaire included two sections: a 24-hour recall part and a food frequency part. Validity was tested in 4 countries (Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Portugal; n = 43-60 per country) using a 1-day weighed food record and 7-day food records as reference methods. Test-retest (7-12 days apart) reproducibility was assessed in 6 countries (Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Spain; n = 60-74 per country). RESULTS: Spearman rank correlations for fruit and vegetable intake according to the frequency part and the 7-day food record ranged between r = 0.40-0.53. Between 25-50% were classified into the same quartile and 70-88% into the same or adjacent quartile. Test-retest Spearman rank correlations for the food frequency part were r = 0.47-0.84. Three countries showed no significant difference between fruit intake as assessed with the 24-hour recall part and the 1-day weighed food record, and 2 countries showed no significant difference for vegetables. In the other countries, the 24-hour recall part resulted in substantially higher mean intake levels. CONCLUSION: Validity and reproducibility as to ranking of subjects were regarded to be satisfactory in all countries. Group mean intake, based on the original 24-hour part, was valid for fruit in 3 countries and for vegetables in 2 countries, and this part was subsequently adjusted to avoid overestimation, before the questionnaire was used in the Pro Children study.
Overweight and obesity in youth has increased dramatically. Therefore, overweight prevention initiatives should start early in life and target modifiable energy balance-related behaviours. Parental participation is often advocated as important for school-based interventions, however, getting parents involved in school-based interventions appears to be challenging based on earlier intervention experiences. The purpose of this study was to get insight into the determinants of and perspectives on parental participation in school-interventions on energy balance-related behaviours (physical activity, healthy eating, sedentary behaviours) in parents of ten- to twelve-year olds in order to develop an effective parental module for school-based interventions concerning energy balance-related behaviours.
Four countries (Belgium, Hungary, Norway and Spain) conducted the focus group research based on a standardised protocol and a semi-structured questioning route. A variation in parental socio-economic status (SES) and parental school involvement was taken into account when recruiting the parents. The audio taped interviews were transcribed, and a qualitative content analysis of the transcripts was conducted in each country.
Seventeen focus group interviews were conducted with a total of 92 parents (12 men, 80 women). Physical activity was considered to be a joint responsibility of school and parents, nutrition as parent's responsibility but supported by the school, and prevention of sedentary behaviours as parent's sole responsibility. Parents proposed interactive and practical activities together with their child as the best way to involve them such as cooking, food tasting, nutrition workshops, walking or cycling tours, sport initiations together with their child. Activities should be cheap, on a convenient moment, focused on their children and not on themselves, not tutoring, not theoretical, and school-or home-based.
Parents want to be involved in activities related to energy balance-related behaviours if this implies 'doing things together' with their child at school or at home.