Maternal educational level and preschool children's consumption of high-calorie snacks and sugar-containing beverages: mediation by the family food environment.Prev Med. 2013 Nov; 57(5):607-12.PM
To examine the associations between maternal educational level and preschoolers' consumption of high-calorie snacks and sugar-containing beverages, and to assess the mediating effects of variables relating to the family food environment.
We analyzed data from 2814 native Dutch preschoolers enrolled in a birth cohort study in Rotterdam (the Netherlands), between 2002 and 2006. Logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios of snacking ≥ 2 times/day and consuming sugar-containing beverages ≥ 3 glasses/day for children of mothers with low, mid-low, and mid-high educational levels (reference group: high educational level), before and after adjustment for mediators.
Children of low and mid-low educated mothers were significantly more likely to consume excessive amounts of high-calorie snacks and sugar-containing beverages compared with children of high educated mothers, with the highest odds in children of low educated mothers (OR: 2.44; 95% CI: 1.84, 3.23 and OR: 2.46; 95% CI: 1.87, 3.24 respectively). Parental feeding practices, parental consumption of sugar-containing beverages, and children's television time partly explained these associations.
Maternal educational level is inversely related to preschoolers' consumption of high-calorie snacks and sugar-containing beverages. Targeting the family food environment may be an effective way of reducing educational inequalities in children's unhealthy dietary behaviors.