Individual, behavioural and home environmental factors associated with eating behaviours in young adolescents.Appetite 2017; 112:35-43A
This study aimed to examine individual, behavioural and home environmental factors associated with frequency of consumption of fruit, vegetables and energy-dense snacks among adolescents. Adolescents aged 11-12 years (n = 521, 48% boys) completed a paper-based questionnaire during class-time which included a Food Frequency Questionnaire assessing their consumption of fruit, vegetables, and energy-dense (ED) snacks, and items assessing habits, self-efficacy, eating at the television (TV), eating with parents, parenting practices, and home availability and accessibility of foods. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that eating fruit and vegetables while watching TV and home availability and accessibility of fruit and vegetables were positively associated with frequency of fruit consumption and vegetable consumption, while home accessibility of ED snack foods was negatively associated with frequency of fruit consumption. Habit for eating ED snack foods in front the TV, eating ED snack foods while watching TV, and home availability of ED snacks were positively associated with frequency of ED snack consumption. This study has highlighted the importance of a healthy home environment for promoting fruit and vegetable intake in early adolescents and also suggests that, if snacking while TV viewing occurs, this could be a good opportunity for promoting fruit and vegetable intake. These findings are likely to be useful for supporting the development of multi-faceted interventions and aid us in knowing what advice to give to parents to help them to help their young adolescents to develop and maintain healthy eating habits.