Parent Support and Parent-Mediated Behaviors Are Associated with Children's Sugary Beverage Consumption
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2012
Consumption of sugary beverages has been identified as a contributor to childhood obesity. Studies have established the importance of specific parenting practices to children's beverage consumption; however, no study has examined multiple operationalizations of parenting to better understand where to focus future interventions. The present study examined the relationship between children's sugary beverage consumption and a parenting model that included household food rules, parent modeling of food rules, parent-mediated behaviors, and parent support. Baseline data from Project MOVE/me Muevo were used. Participants included 541 children, aged 5 to 8 years old, and their parents. Parents completed a 45-minute self-administered survey in Spanish or English, providing information about their child's dietary intake, as well as their parenting practices. Children's sugary beverage consumption included nondiet soda, noncarbonated sugary drinks, and sport drinks. Household food rules and parent modeling of food rules were assessed with seven items each. Parent-mediated behaviors consisted of four behaviors. Parent support was assessed with five items. Parent support and parent-mediated behaviors, including total screen time and eating at fast-food restaurants at least weekly, were associated with greater consumption of sugary beverages in children. No other parenting variables were significant. Encouraging caregivers to promote healthy dietary behaviors and provide healthy choices, limiting children's television and computer use, and reducing fast-food consumption can contribute to reductions in sugary beverage consumption among children.