Lyerly, J. (2015). Associations between food choice values of parental guardians, socioeconomic status, home food availability, and child dietary intake. Unc Charlotte Electronic Theses And Dissertations.
Previous research has found that food choice values (FCVs), socioeconomic status (SES), and home food availability (HFA) are associated with child dietary intake. However, the relationships between these variables have been poorly studied. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was (1) to better understand the relationships between parental FCVs, HFA, and child dietary intake, and (2) to examine the relationships between SES and these constructs. Participants were 193 parental guardians of a child between the ages of 6-11, recruited from MTurk. Participants completed measures on FCV, SES, HFA, and reported the dietary intake of their child. Path analysis using OLS regression was conducted to examine the pathways through which the variables were associated. Results indicated that parental FCVs, particularly the organic, weight control/health, sensory appeal, and convenience values had small to medium effects on HFA and child dietary intake. Generally, higher endorsement of the organic and weight control/health values were associated with increased availability and child dietary intake of healthy foods and decreased availability and child dietary intake of unhealthy foods. The opposite relationships were found with the sensory appeal and convenience values. Additionally, HFA did mediate the relationships between FCVs and child dietary intake. Similarly, higher SES generally predicted increased availability and child dietary intake of healthy foods and decreased availability and child dietary intake of unhealthy foods. SES did not predict parental FCVs. HFA also mediated the relationships between SES and child dietary intake. The current study was the first to examine the relationships between parental FCVs, SES, HFA, and child dietary intake as part of a single model. The findings have important implications for interventions targeting weight status or dietary intake in children, by suggesting that parental and environmental/social factors may be important to address.