Frequency of eating alone is associated with adolescent dietary intake, perceived food-related parenting practices and weight status: Cross-sectional Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) Study results

Marla Reicks, Cynthia Davey, Alex Kojo Anderson, Jinan Banna, Mary Cluskey, Carolyn Gunther, Blake Jones, Rickelle Richards, Glade Topham, Siew Sun Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine relationships between frequency of adolescents eating alone (dependent variable) and diet, weight status and perceived food-related parenting practices (independent variables).

DESIGN: Analyses of publicly available, cross-sectional, web-based survey data from adolescents.

SETTING: Online consumer opinion panel.

SUBJECTS: A US nationwide sample of adolescents (12-17 years) completed Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) Study surveys to report demographic and family meal characteristics, weight, dietary intake, home food availability and perceptions of parenting practices. Parents provided information about demographic characteristics. Logistic regression analyses were used to test for associations between variables.

RESULTS: About 20 % of adolescents reported often eating alone (n 343) v. not often eating alone (n 1309). Adjusted odds of adolescents often eating alone were significantly higher for non-Hispanic Black compared with non-Hispanic White adolescents (OR=1·7) and for overweight or obese compared with normal- or underweight adolescents (OR=1·6). Adjusted odds of adolescents eating alone were significantly lower for those who reported that fruits and vegetables were often/always available in the home (OR=0·65), for those who perceived that parents had expectations about fruit and vegetable intake (OR=0·71) and for those who agreed with parental authority to make rules about intake of junk food/sugary drinks (OR=0·71). Junk food and sugary drink daily intake frequency was positively associated with often eating alone.

CONCLUSIONS: Often eating alone was related to being overweight/obese, having less healthy dietary intake and perceptions of less supportive food-related parenting practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1555-1566
Number of pages12
JournalPublic health nutrition
Volume22
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support: This project was funded through money appropriated by Congress through the Hatch Act to the Agricultural Experiment Stations of land grant universities for multistate research projects. These funding bodies had no role in the design of the study; collection, analysis and interpretation of data; or in writing the manuscript. This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (grant number UL1TR002494). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Authorship: M.R., C.D., A.K.A., J.B., M.K., C.G., B.J., R.R., G.T. and S.S.W. conceptualized the research question and data analysis approach. C.D. analysed the data regarding relationships between variables of interest. M.R., C.D., A.K.A., J.B., M.K., C.G., B.J., R.R., G.T. and S.S.W. interpreted the findings and were major contributors in writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Ethics of human subject participation: This study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki and all procedures involving human subjects were approved by the US Government's Office of Management and Budget, National Cancer Institute Special Studies Institutional Review Board and Westat's Institutional Review Board. FLASHE data collection materials and procedures were reviewed and approved by the US Government's Office of Management and Budget (OMB clearance date/number: 13 December 2013/0925-0686), NCI's Special Studies Institutional Review Board (SSIRB clearance date/iRIS number: 30 May 2013/327123) and Westat's Institutional Review Board (IRB clearance date/number: 14 March 2013/6053.01.01). Parents and adolescents were contacted by an Internet consumer panel (Ipsos Consumer Opinion Poll) by email and invited to enrol via a website where they were asked to complete consent and assent forms prior to participation. The University of Minnesota's Institutional Review Board determined that this secondary analysis of existing anonymous data was exempt from review.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors.

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Eating alone
  • Eating behaviours
  • Food-related parenting practices
  • Independent eating occasions
  • Weight status

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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