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Open AccessArticle

A Cross-Sectional Study on the Relationship between the Family Nutrition Climate and Children’s Nutrition Behavior

Department of Health Promotion, NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University, 6229 HA Maastricht, The Netherlands
School of Sport Studies, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, 5644 HZ Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5612 AZ Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Academic Collaborative Center for Public Health, Public Health Service South-Limburg, 6400 AA Heerlen, The Netherlands
Department of Health Services Research, Maastricht University, CAPHRI Care and Public Health Research Institute, 6229 GT Maastricht, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2344;
Received: 5 August 2019 / Revised: 17 September 2019 / Accepted: 25 September 2019 / Published: 2 October 2019
Background: Parents influence their children’s nutrition behavior. The relationship between parental influences and children’s nutrition behavior is often studied with a focus on the dyadic interaction between the parent and the child. However, parents and children are part of a broader system: the family. We investigated the relationship between the family nutrition climate (FNC), a family-level concept, and children’s nutrition behavior. Methods: Parents of primary school-aged children (N = 229) filled in the validated family nutrition climate (FNC) scale. This scale measures the families’ view on the consumption of healthy nutrition, consisting of four different concepts: value, communication, cohesion, and consensus. Parents also reported their children’s nutrition behavior (i.e., fruit, vegetable, water, candy, savory snack, and soda consumption). Multivariate linear regression analyses, correcting for potential confounders, were used to assess the relationship between the FNC scale (FNC-Total; model 1) and the different FNC subscales (model 2) and the child’s nutrition behavior. Results: FNC-Total was positively related to fruit and vegetable intake and negatively related to soda consumption. FNC-value was a significant predictor of vegetable (positive) and candy intake (negative), and FNC-communication was a significant predictor of soda consumption (negative). FNC-communication, FNC-cohesion, and FNC-consensus were significant predictors (positive, positive, and negative, respectively) of water consumption. Conclusions: The FNC is related to children’s nutrition behavior and especially to the consumption of healthy nutrition. These results imply the importance of taking the family-level influence into account when studying the influence of parents on children’s nutrition behavior. Trial registration: Dutch Trial Register NTR6716 (registration date 27 June 2017, retrospectively registered), METC163027, NL58554.068.16, Fonds NutsOhra project number 101.253. View Full-Text
Keywords: family; parents; health; nutrition; children family; parents; health; nutrition; children
MDPI and ACS Style

Verjans-Janssen, S.; Van Kann, D.; Kremers, S.; Vos, S.; Jansen, M.; Gerards, S. A Cross-Sectional Study on the Relationship between the Family Nutrition Climate and Children’s Nutrition Behavior. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2344.

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