Associations between the Home Environment, Feeding Practices and Children's Intakes of Fruit, Vegetables and Confectionary/Sugar-Sweetened Beverages.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 07 05; 17(13)IJ
Within the home environment, parents influence their children's dietary intakes through their parenting and dietary practices, and the foods they make available/accessible. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the associations between home environmental characteristics and children's dietary intakes. Three hundred and thirty-two children aged three-five years and their parents participated in the study. Home environmental characteristics, including parental control feeding practices, were explored using validated and standardized questionnaires such as the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ), the Physical and Nutritional Home Environment Inventory (PNHEI) and the Healthy Home Survey (HHS). Parent and child food consumption was also measured. Pressure to eat from parents was associated with lower fruit intake in children (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.47-0.96, p = 0.032). Greater variety of fruit available in the home increased the likelihood of fruit consumption in children (OR 1.35 95% CI 1.09-1.68, p = 0.005). Watching television for ≥1 h per day was associated with a decreased probability of children eating vegetables daily (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.20-0.72, p = 0.003) and doubled their likelihood of consuming confectionary/sugar-sweetened beverages more than once weekly (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.06-4.38, p = 0.034). Children whose parents had lower vegetable consumption were 59% less likely to eat vegetables daily. This study demonstrates that modifiable home environmental characteristics are significantly associated with children's dietary intakes.