Introduction Optimal intake of dietary calcium is critical to prevent osteoporosis later in life, yet most young adolescents do not consume the recommended amount. We describe parental strategies that can influence young adolescents' calcium intake in Asian, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white households. Methods A qualitative research design employed semistructured individual interviews with a convenience sample of mostly female parents self-reported as Asian (n = 48), Hispanic (n = 44), or non-Hispanic white (n = 76) having a child aged 10 to 13 years at home. Interviews were conducted in homes or community centers in 12 states. Interview data were analyzed by using qualitative data analysis software and thematic content analysis procedures. Results Parents monitored calcium intake by making calcium-rich foods available, preparing calcium-rich foods, and setting expectations that children would consume calcium- rich foods. As mentors, parents encouraged intake of calcium-rich foods and advised children to moderate or increase intake of specific foods. Although parents perceived modeling of calcium intake as important, some were ambivalent about its effects. We noted minimal differences by racial/ethnic groups and sex of children in reported availability of selected calcium-rich foods at home, parental modeling of intake, and mentoring behaviors. Conclusion Our findings suggest that interventions to help parents increase children's intake of calcium should focus on types of foods made available, giving age-appropriate encouragement and advice, and modeling proper intake.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Preventing Chronic Disease|
|State||Published - 2008|