Gender Analyses of Brazilian Parental Eating and Activity With Their Adolescents’ Eating Habits

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Objective: To explore the associations between the eating habits of sons and daughters and the eating habits, sedentary behavior, and physical activity of their fathers and mothers. Design: A cross-sectional survey of adolescents. Setting: The 6 largest schools in Londrina, Brazil. Participants: A total of 842 adolescents, 842 mothers, and 842 fathers participated in this study. Main Outcomes Measures: Eating habits of adolescents and sedentary behavior, physical activity, and eating habits of their fathers and mothers, measured by questionnaire. Analysis: The associations were identified by binary logistic regression, adjusted by adolescent's age, family's socioeconomic status, parents’ educational level, and the other parental behavior. Results: Independent of educational level and socioeconomic condition, mothers' eating behaviors seem to be more closely related to their adolescent children's eating behavior (vegetables, fruits, fried foods, soft drinks, and sweets [P = .001]) than fathers' behaviors (fried foods and sweets [P = .01], soft drinks [P = .001]). In addition, the behaviors of mothers were more associated to the behaviors of daughters than to the behaviors of sons (7 vs 5 associated behaviors), while behaviors of fathers were more associated with the behaviors of sons than to the behaviors of daughters (4 vs 2 associated behaviors). No associations were noted for sedentary and physical activity behavior and eating behaviors between adolescents and their parents. Conclusions And Implications: Many eating habits of adolescents were associated with eating habits of both fathers and mothers, emphasizing the importance of family-focused health promotion actions. Future research is needed incorporating into the analyses, among others, the nutritional statuses and the clustering of healthy and unhealthy behaviors of parents and their children.




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Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, v. 52, n. 5, p. 503-511, 2020.

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