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Father Involvement in Feeding Interactions with Their Young Children

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Objective: To examine the associations of father-child feeding and physical interactions with dietary practices and weight status in children. Methods: A nationally representative sample of children, mothers, and fathers who participated in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth cohort study (N = 2441) was used to explore the relationship of father-child feeding and physical activity interactions with child dietary practices and weight status. Logistic multivariable regression analyses were adjusted for child, father, mother, and socio-demographic characteristics. Results: Approximately 40% of fathers reported having a great deal of influence on their preschool child's nutrition and about 50% reported daily involvement in preparing food for their child and assisting their child with eating. Children had over 2 times the odds of consuming fast food at least once a week if fathers reported eating out with their child a few times a week compared to fathers who reported rarely or never eating out with their child (OR, 2.89; 95% CI, 1.94-4.29), adjusting for all covariates. Whether fathers reported eating out with their children was also significantly associated with children's sweetened beverage intake. Conclusions: Potentially modifiable behaviors that support healthy dietary practices in children may be supported by targeting fathers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Department of Pediatrics, Los Angeles CA;, Email: [email protected] 2: UC Davis Biostatistics Graduate Group, Davis, CA 3: School of Public Affairs at UCLA, Department of Social Welfare, Los Angeles CA 4: David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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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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