Food availability, modeling and restriction: How are these different aspects of the family eating environment related to adolescent dietary intake?

Katie A Loth, Richard F MacLehose, Nicole Larson, Jerica M Berge, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer
Appetite 2016 January 1, 96: 80-86

OBJECTIVES: To examine individual associations between aspects of the family eating environment (home food availability, parental modeling, and food restriction) and adolescent dietary intake and explore the combined relationship (i.e., environment profiles) between these aspects of the family eating environment and adolescent dietary intake.

METHODS: Adolescents [14.4 years old (SD = 2.0)] and their parents (N = 2383 parent-adolescent pairs] participated in 2 coordinated, population-based studies. Adolescent surveys were completed at school and parent surveys were conducted via mail or phone.

RESULTS: Healthy home food availability was positively associated with fruit/vegetable intake and negatively associated with soda and snack food intake in adolescents. Healthy parental modeling was negatively associated with adolescent soda consumption. Food restriction was positively associated with fruit/vegetable consumption and snack food intake. Examination of family eating environment profiles revealed that it was the home food availability component of the profiles that was associated with observed differences in fruits/vegetable consumption, whereas the parental modeling and food restriction components contributed to differences in soda and snack foods consumption.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate that among the three aspects of the family eating environment explored, making healthy food available at home was most consistently associated with healthy dietary intake in adolescents.

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