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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Fiction is Sweet. The Impact of Media Consumption on the Development of Children’s Nutritional Knowledge and the Moderating Role of Parental Food-Related Mediation. A Longitudinal Study

1
Advertising and Media Effects Research Group, Department of Communication, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
2
Department of Media and Communication, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, 80538 Munich, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1478; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051478
Received: 24 April 2020 / Revised: 5 May 2020 / Accepted: 14 May 2020 / Published: 19 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Marketing and Dietary Behaviors among Children)
Nutritional knowledge is an important cognitive facilitator that potentially helps children to follow a healthy diet. Two main information agents influence children’s development of nutritional knowledge: the media and their parents. While a high amount of media consumption potentially decreases children’s nutritional knowledge, parents may shape the amount of information children can gather about nutrition through their food-related mediation styles. In addition, children’s individual preconditions predict how children can process the provided nutritional information. This two-wave panel study with children (N = 719; 5–11 years) and their parents (N = 719) investigated the main effects and interplay of children’s amount of media consumption and their parents’ food-related mediation styles by performing linear regression analysis. Children’s individual preconditions were also considered. We measured children’s self-reported amount of media consumption, children’s age, sex, weight, and height (BMI). Additionally, in a parent survey we asked parents about how they communicate their rules about eating while especially focusing on active and restrictive food rule communication styles. As a dependent measure, we examined children’s nutritional knowledge at Time 1 and 2. The results show that the amount of media consumption has a negative effect on children’s nutritional knowledge over time. Parents’ restrictive or active food-related mediation asserted no main effects and could not lever out the negative effect of the amount of media consumption. Therefore, we argue that parents should limit children’s amount of media consumption to avoid the manifestation of misperceptions about nutrition. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutritional knowledge; media; children; parental food-related mediation styles; individual preconditions nutritional knowledge; media; children; parental food-related mediation styles; individual preconditions
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Binder, A.; Naderer, B.; Matthes, J.; Spielvogel, I. Fiction is Sweet. The Impact of Media Consumption on the Development of Children’s Nutritional Knowledge and the Moderating Role of Parental Food-Related Mediation. A Longitudinal Study. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1478.

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