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Browsing by Subject "barns kostintag"

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  • Hampf, Sofia (2016)
    Aims: Obesity among children and teenagers in Finland is a growing issue. Compared to the national nutritional guidelines pre-school-aged children have difficulties consuming enough daily fruits and vegetables whereas their sugar intake is too high. During early childhood the home is the child's primary food environment, which gives parents the main responsibility in the development of the child's food habits. The food environment consists not only of the foods available in the home, but also of the rules and daily routines regarding food and the emotional climate during mealtimes. The current study examined the effects of parenting style and parental feeding practices on 3-5-year old children's fruit and vegetable intake and sugar intake. Methods: A sample of 173 parents and guardians to 3-5-year old children participated in the study. The data was collected in autumn 2014 using a web-based pilot survey issued by the DAGIS (Increased health and well-being in pre-schools) study. The survey contained questions regarding parenting style, parenting practices and energy balance-related behaviors. The data was examined for links between separate parenting style dimensions, specific feeding practices and children's consumption of fruits/vegetables and sugar-enriched foods/beverages. A model of mediation was also tested to see whether parental feeding practices mediated the effects of parenting style on children's food intake. Results and conclusions: The parenting style dimensions warmth and psychological control had opposite effects on children's sugar intake, which was mediated through links with specific feeding practices. Psychological control was positively related to the use of food rewards and permissive practices concerning sugar consumption and these feeding practices were both positively related to children's sugar intake. Parental warmth in turn was negatively associated with the use of food rewards. The results indicate that parental warmth has favourable effects on children's eating habits, whereas psychological control makes parents more inclined to use the kind of feeding practices that link to a higher sugar intake. Parents should therefore be supported in adopting alternative methods to control their children other than manipulating their feelings, such as reasoning with the child. Parents should also be encouraged to set appropriate boundaries for children's sugar consumption and refrain from using foods as rewards.