How time in the US and race/ethnicity shape food parenting practices and child diet quality

Sally I. Othman, Angela Fertig, Amanda Trofholz, Jerica M. Berge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Childhood obesity prevalence is high among children from immigrant/refugee households who live in high-income countries. Poor child dietary intake is a critical risk factor for elevated obesity prevalence and food parenting practices have been found to be associated with child dietary intake and eating behaviors. The main aim of this study was to examine the associations between migrants'/refugees' food parenting practices, the length of residence time in the US, race/ethnicity, and child diet quality. The current study included 577 families from three racial/ethnic groups that include mostly foreign-born parents (Latino, Hmong, and Somali/Ethiopian), and a comparison group of 239 non-Hispanic White families. Results showed that for Latino and Hmong parents, some food parenting practices varied by how long they had lived in the US. For example, more recently moved parents engaged in more non-directive (e.g., avoid buying sweets) practices compared with US-born parents. In contrast, Somali/Ethiopian parents engaged in different food parenting practices than White parents, regardless of time in the US. Results also showed that diet quality among Hmong children was lower if their parents were US-born compared to foreign-born. Future researchers may want to consider studying why some food parenting practices change when parents move to the US and explore whether there is a combination of food parenting practices that are most useful in promoting a healthful child's diet and weight among immigrant and refugee families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105870
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research is supported by grant number R01HL126171 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Jerica Berge). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • Child diet
  • Childhood obesity
  • Migrants/refugees
  • Parents feeding practices
  • Race/ethnicity

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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