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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 105, Issue 1, pp e15–e21 | Cite as

Associations between family eating behaviours and body composition measures in peri-adolescents: Results from a community-based study of school-aged children

  • Samantha HajnaEmail author
  • Paul J. LeBlanc
  • Brent E. Faught
  • Anwar T. Merchant
  • John Cairney
  • John Hay
  • Jian Liu
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To identify key eating behaviours in children and their parents and to determine the associations between these behaviours and measures of body composition in children.

METHODS: Data were collected on a sample of 431 peri-adolescent children (12.4±0.3 years) and their parents from the Niagara Region. Body composition was assessed by trained research assistants. Eating behaviours were assessed using a revised version of the Family Eating and Activity Habits Questionnaire. Principal component analyses were used to identify key eating behaviours among children, mothers and fathers. Linear regression models were used to assess their associations with body mass index (BMI), waist-to-height ratio, waist-to-hip ratio, waist girth, and hip girth measures in children.

RESULTS: Emotional/uncontrolled eating and eating by the television in children and their mothers were positively associated with measures of body composition in children. Other eating behaviours that were associated with larger measures of body composition in children included low frequency of eating meals with parents, frequent sweet beverage consumption and snacking and eating “on-the-go” in children, eating “on-the-go” in mothers, and emotional eating and eating by the television/late at night in fathers.

CONCLUSIONS: The eating behaviours of children and mothers, and to a lesser degree fathers, are important predictors of children’s body composition. Public health interventions designed to help mothers and children reduce the frequency of emotional/uncontrolled eating and eating by the television may be effective means of facilitating positive weight outcomes in children.

Key words

Child parents behaviour body composition 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS: Cerner les principaux comportements alimentaires des enfants et de leurs parents et déterminer les associations entre ces comportements et les indicateurs de la composition corporelle des enfants.

MÉTHODE: Nos données ont été recueillies auprès d’un échantillon de 431 enfants péri-adolescents (12,4±0,3 ans) et de leurs parents dans la région de Niagara. La composition corporelle des enfants a été évaluée par des adjoints de recherche formés. Les comportements alimentaires ont été évalués à l’aide d’une version révisée de l’outil Family Eating and Activity Habits Questionnaire. Des analyses en composantes principales ont servi à identifier les principaux comportements alimentaires des enfants, des mères et des pères. Nous avons utilisé des modèles de régression linéaire pour évaluer les associations entre ces comportements et l’indice de masse corporelle (IMC), le rapport tour de taille/taille, le rapport tour de taille/hanches, le tour de taille et le tour de hanches mesurés chez les enfants.

RÉSULTATS: L’alimentation incontrôlée ou sous l’effet de l’émotion et l’alimentation devant la télévision, chez les enfants et leurs mères, étaient des comportements associés positivement avec les indicateurs de la composition corporelle des enfants. Les autres comportements alimentaires associés aux principaux indicateurs de la composition corporelle des enfants étaient, chez les enfants: la faible fréquence des repas avec les parents, la consommation fréquente de boissons sucrées et de collations et l’alimentation «sur le pouce»; chez les mères: l’alimentation «sur le pouce» et l’alimentation sous l’effet de l’émotion; et chez les pères: l’alimentation devant la télévision ou tard le soir.

CONCLUSIONS: Les comportements alimentaires des enfants et des mères, et dans une moindre mesure ceux des pères, sont d’importants prédicteurs de la composition corporelle des enfants. Les interventions de santé publique conçues pour aider les mères et les enfants à réduire la fréquence de l’alimentation incontrôlée ou sous l’effet de l’émotion et de l’alimentation devant la télévision pourraient être efficaces pour donner des résultats positifs en ce qui a trait au poids des enfants.

Mots clés

enfant parents comportement composition corporelle 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samantha Hajna
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul J. LeBlanc
    • 2
  • Brent E. Faught
    • 2
  • Anwar T. Merchant
    • 3
  • John Cairney
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  • John Hay
    • 2
  • Jian Liu
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational HealthMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Department of Health SciencesBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public HealthUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Family MedicineMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural NeurosciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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