Diet quality of mothers and their preschoolers enrolled in an obesity prevention trial

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Leigh Ellen R. Laster (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Cheryl Lovelady

Abstract: Children of obese parents are more likely to become obese than children of normal weight parents. However, there is little information regarding diet intake of children of obese parents. The objectives of this study were to determine: 1) diet quality of preschoolers and their overweight/obese mothers; 2) if maternal and child diet quality were correlated; and 3) predictors of child's diet quality. Data are from baseline measurements from a randomized controlled behavioral intervention. Participants were English-literate, postpartum mothers and their preschoolers (n = 177 mother-child dyads) living in North Carolina. Visits took place in the Triangle and Triad regions of North Carolina between September 2007 and November 2009. The Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2005 was used to measure diet quality of mothers and preschoolers. Descriptive statistics, χ2, analysis of variance, Pearson correlations, and stepwise regression model were used. Only 11% of children and 7% of mothers had HEI-2005 scores ≥ 80, indicating a healthy diet. Most children did not meet recommendations for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat and beans, sodium, saturated fat, and energy from solid fat and added sugars. Child diet quality was correlated with maternal diet quality (r = 0.44, p <0.001). However, children and mothers differed in the proportion that met food group recommendations. Children versus mothers: total fruit (50% vs. 14%), whole fruit (46% vs. 28%), total vegetables (6% vs. 18%), dark green and orange vegetables and legumes (7% vs. 19%), total grains (57% vs. 71%), milk (63% vs. 22%), and meat and beans (33% vs. 60%). Variables significantly associated with child diet quality were included in a forward stepwise regression model. Child's gender, the mother's method of currently feeding her infant, household income and mother's diet quality remained in the final model (adjusted r2 = 0.24, p <0.0001). Diet quality was lower for males, children of mothers who formula fed their infants only, and children in households with lower income. Diets of children of overweight/obese mothers need improvement in several areas. Mother's diet quality and household income are important contributors to child's diet quality, and should be considered in efforts to improve diets of these children.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Diet quality, Healthy eating index, Obesity, Preschool
Mother and child $z North Carolina
Obesity in children $x Etiology
Obesity in children $x Risk factors
Obesity $x Nutritional aspects
Obesity $x Prevention
Children $x Nutrition
Diet $z North Carolina

Email this document to