African-American and Hispanic children's beverage intake: Differences in associations with desire to drink, fathers' feeding practices, and weight concerns.Appetite. 2016 12 01; 107:558-567.A
Relationships of African-American and Hispanic fathers' feeding practices and weight concerns and preschoolers' desire to drink with children's beverage intake were examined, and associations between fathers' feeding practices and children's weight status were evaluated. Fathers' (Hispanic n = 61, African-American n = 49) difficulty in child feeding, use of food to calm, use of food as reward, and concern about the child being under and overweight as well as their child's desire to drink were assessed. Preschoolers' (ages 2 to 5) total sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB), fruit juice, and water intake were measured by a modified beverage intake questionnaire. Body Mass Index (BMI) and BMI percentile were calculated for fathers and children, respectively. Multiple regressions revealed that, in Hispanics, difficulty in feeding, concern about underweight, use of food to calm, and use of food as a reward were significantly associated with child intake of total SSB, whereas, in African-Americans, child desire to drink was associated with total SSB and fruit juice. Concern about the child being underweight was inversely associated with child BMI percentile in Hispanics. Significant differences in regression coefficients of child SSB intake to fathers' behaviors versus child desire to drink between the two racial-ethnic groups indicated that use of food to calm the child predicted increased intake of SSB by Hispanic but not by African-American children, while child desire to drink predicted increased intake of SSB by African-American but not by Hispanic children. Because of these significant differences, future research might profitably explore socio-cultural influences on associations of additional child feeding behaviors with fathers' attempts to control them. Furthermore, practitioners should consider developing and evaluating different child obesity interventions for these two racial-ethnic groups.