Eat this, not that! Parental demographic correlates of food-related parenting practices

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To understand how parents of adolescents attempt to regulate their children's eating behaviors, the prevalence of specific food-related parenting practices (restriction, pressure-to-eat) by sociodemographic characteristics (parent gender, race/ethnicity, education level, employment status, and household income) were examined within a population-based sample of parents (n=3709) of adolescents. Linear regression models were fit to estimate the association between parent sociodemographic characteristics and parental report of food restriction and pressure-to-eat. Overall, findings suggest that use of controlling food-related parenting practices, such as pressuring children to eat and restricting children's intake, is common among parents of adolescents, particularly among parents in racial/ethnic minority subgroups, parents with less than a high school education, and parents with a low household income. Results indicate that that social or cultural traditions, as well as parental access to economic resources, may contribute to a parent's decision to utilize specific food-related parenting practices. Given that previous research has found that restriction and pressure-to-eat food-related parenting practices can negatively impact children's current and future dietary intake, differences in use of these practices by sociodemographic characteristics may contribute, in part, to the disparities that exist in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents by their race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Adolescents
  • Cross-sectional study
  • Feeding practices
  • Feeding strategies
  • Parenting practices
  • Parents
  • Pressure-to-eat
  • Restriction
  • Socio-demographics


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