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The Association between Parent Diet Quality and Child Dietary Patterns in Nine- to Eleven-Year-Old Children from Dunedin, New Zealand

Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Department of Exercise and Sports Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27519, USA
School of Healthcare Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(5), 483;
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
PDF [399 KB, uploaded 11 May 2017]


Previous research investigating the relationship between parents’ and children’s diets has focused on single foods or nutrients, and not on global diet, which may be more important for good health. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between parental diet quality and child dietary patterns. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 17 primary schools in Dunedin, New Zealand. Information on food consumption and related factors in children and their primary caregiver/parent were collected. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to investigate dietary patterns in children and diet quality index (DQI) scores were calculated in parents. Relationships between parental DQI and child dietary patterns were examined in 401 child-parent pairs using mixed regression models. PCA generated two patterns; ‘Fruit and Vegetables’ and ‘Snacks’. A one unit higher parental DQI score was associated with a 0.03SD (CI: 0.02, 0.04) lower child ‘Snacks’ score. There was no significant relationship between ‘Fruit and Vegetables’ score and parental diet quality. Higher parental diet quality was associated with a lower dietary pattern score in children that was characterised by a lower consumption frequency of confectionery, chocolate, cakes, biscuits and savoury snacks. These results highlight the importance of parental modelling, in terms of their dietary choices, on the diet of children. View Full-Text
Keywords: children; parents; diet quality; dietary patterns children; parents; diet quality; dietary patterns

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Davison, B.; Saeedi, P.; Black, K.; Harrex, H.; Haszard, J.; Meredith-Jones, K.; Quigg, R.; Skeaff, S.; Stoner, L.; Wong, J.E.; Skidmore, P. The Association between Parent Diet Quality and Child Dietary Patterns in Nine- to Eleven-Year-Old Children from Dunedin, New Zealand. Nutrients 2017, 9, 483.

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