Parent-adolescent conversations about eating, physical activity and weight: prevalence across sociodemographic characteristics and associations with adolescent weight and weight-related behaviors

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Abstract

This paper aims to describe the prevalence of parent-adolescent conversations about eating, physical activity and weight across sociodemographic characteristics and to examine associations with adolescent body mass index (BMI), dietary intake, physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Data from two linked epidemiological studies were used for cross-sectional analysis. Parents (n = 3,424; 62 % females) and adolescents (n = 2,182; 53.2 % girls) were socioeconomically and racially/ethnically diverse. Fathers reported more parent-adolescent conversations about healthful eating and physical activity with their sons and mothers reported more weight-focused conversations with their daughters. Parents of Hispanic/Latino and Asian/Hmong youth and parents from lower socioeconomic status categories engaged in more conversations about weight and size. Adolescents whose mothers or fathers had weight-focused conversations with them had higher BMI percentiles. Adolescents who had two parents engaging in weight-related conversations had higher BMI percentiles. Healthcare providers may want to talk about the types of weight-related conversations parents are having with their adolescents and emphasize avoiding conversations about weight specifically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-135
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research is supported by grant number R03 HD074677 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (CO-PI’s: Berge and MacLehose), R01 HL093247 (PI: Neumark-Sztainer), R01 HL084064 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Neumark-Sztainer), and by the Children’s Discovery Fund of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota (Co-PIs: Eisenberg and Neumark-Sztainer). 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, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Cancer Institute or the National Institutes of Health. The funding bodies had no role in study design; collection, analysis or interpretation of data; report writing or decisions to submit manuscripts.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Dietary intake
  • Obesity
  • Parents
  • Physical activity
  • Weight conversations

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