Background and objective
: Body mass index (BMI) is one of the key indicators used to measure the growth of children. It could be affected by the children’s nutrition, which is essential for the proper development of the child. Nutrition of children could be affected by many environmental factors, for example, the socioeconomic environment of the family. The aim of this study was to identify the associations between the BMI of seven- and eight-year-old children, dietary behaviour and nutrition-related parenting practices. Materials and Methods:
The study was carried out as part of the World Health Organization European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (WHO COSI). Data were collected using two instruments: objective anthropometric measurements and a questionnaire. The target participant group was 3969 Lithuanian first-formers. Factor analysis was used to summarise questions from the family form. Linear regression analysis was used to identify the associations between various factors and the BMI value of the children. The association between two groups of factors was analysed using Spearman correlation. Results:
Factors of dietary behaviour like unhealthy food and proteins were significantly positively associated with BMI in children, while consumption of plant-based, dairy and confectionery items was significantly negatively associated with BMI. Factors of nutrition-related parenting practices like control of unhealthy food, food as a reward or punishment, and mealtime were significantly positively associated with BMI, while encouragement, pressure to eat, and liberal attitude were significantly negatively associated with BMI. The strongest associations were between control of unhealthy food and unhealthy food; cost of and preferences for food and plant-based food; variety of food and proteins; variety of food and plant-based food compared to other associations. Conclusions:
The dietary behaviour and nutrition-related parenting practices were associated with BMI in children.
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