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Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 604; doi:10.3390/nu9060604

A Socio-Ecological Examination of Weight-Related Characteristics of the Home Environment and Lifestyles of Households with Young Children

1
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, 26 Nichol Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
2
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona, 406 Shantz Building, 1177 E. 4th Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 April 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [275 KB, uploaded 14 June 2017]

Abstract

Home environment and family lifestyle practices have an influence on child obesity risk, thereby making it critical to systematically examine these factors. Thus, parents (n = 489) of preschool children completed a cross-sectional online survey which was the baseline data collection conducted, before randomization, in the HomeStyles program. The survey comprehensively assessed these factors using a socio-ecological approach, incorporating intrapersonal, interpersonal and environmental measures. Healthy intrapersonal dietary behaviors identified were parent and child intakes of recommended amounts of 100% juice and low intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages. Unhealthy behaviors included low milk intake and high parent fat intake. The home environment’s food supply was found to support healthy intakes of 100% juice and sugar-sweetened beverages, but provided too little milk and ample quantities of salty/fatty snacks. Physical activity levels, sedentary activity and the home’s physical activity and media environment were found to be less than ideal. Environmental supports for active play inside homes were moderate and somewhat better in the area immediately outside homes and in the neighborhood. Family interpersonal interaction measures revealed several positive behaviors, including frequent family meals. Parents had considerable self-efficacy in their ability to perform food- and physical activity-related childhood obesity protective practices. This study identified lifestyle practices and home environment characteristics that health educators could target to help parents promote optimal child development and lower their children’s risk for obesity. View Full-Text
Keywords: socio-ecological model; home environment; parents; child; nutrition; diet; physical activity; sleep; obesity socio-ecological model; home environment; parents; child; nutrition; diet; physical activity; sleep; obesity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Quick, V.; Martin-Biggers, J.; Povis, G.A.; Hongu, N.; Worobey, J.; Byrd-Bredbenner, C. A Socio-Ecological Examination of Weight-Related Characteristics of the Home Environment and Lifestyles of Households with Young Children. Nutrients 2017, 9, 604.

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