Racial and Gender Differences in the Diets of Rural Youth and Their Mothers

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Objective: To examine mother-child dietary concordance that may contribute to healthy eating practices critical to cancer prevention in underserved rural families. Methods: A brief food frequency questionnaire was administered to 404 sixth-graders and their mothers in rural Virginia and New York. Results: Significant dietary fat concordance rates were indicated for mother-daughter dyads only. A 3-way interaction revealed that African American girls with mothers who report high fat intake are at highest risk for health-compromising dietary behaviors. Conclusions: Interventions may need to differentially motivate male and female adolescents and incorporate familial and cultural influences to promote healthy eating in rural youth.

Keywords: adolescent behavior; diet; family health; mother-child relations; rural health

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.27.4.5

Affiliations: 1: Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, Brown Medical School and The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI. 2: Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. 3: Life Skills Center, Professor of Psychology and Preventive Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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