Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mothers' diets have biggest influence on children eating healthy, study suggests

Date:
December 16, 2010
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
As health professionals search for ways to combat the rise in obesity and promote healthy eating, new research reveals a mother's own eating habits -- and whether she views her child as a "picky eater" -- has a huge impact on whether her child consumes enough fruits and vegetables.

As health professionals search for ways to combat the rise in obesity and promote healthy eating, new research reveals a mother's own eating habits -- and whether she views her child as a 'picky eater' -- has a huge impact on whether her child consumes enough fruits and vegetables.

A study by professor Mildred Horodynski of Michigan State University's College of Nursing looked at nearly 400 low-income women (black and non-Hispanic white) with children ages 1-3 enrolled in Early Head Start programs. Results show toddlers were less likely to consume fruits and vegetables four or more times a week if their mothers did not consume that amount or if their mothers viewed their children as picky eaters.

"What and how mothers eat is the most direct influence on what toddlers eat," Horodynski said. "Health professionals need to consider this when developing strategies to increase a child's consumption of healthy foods. Diets low in fruit and vegetables even at young ages pose increased risks for chronic diseases later in life."

The research was published recently in the journal Public Health Nursing.

When mothers viewed their children as picky eaters -- unwilling to try nonfamiliar foods -- a decrease also was seen in the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed.

"Perceptions of a toddler as a picky eater may be related to parenting style or culture," Horodynski said. "Mothers who viewed their children as picky eaters may be more lax in encouraging the consumption of fruits and vegetables."

Previous research shows that early repeated exposure to different types of foods is needed; up to 15 exposures may be needed before it can be determined if a child likes or dislikes a food.

Horodynski's study, which collected information from mothers from 28 Michigan counties, also revealed differences among race: Black mothers and toddlers did not consume as much fruits and vegetables as non-Hispanic whites, though a majority of all study subjects fell below recommended U.S. dietary guidelines.

"Special attention must be given to family-based approaches to incorporating fruits and vegetables into daily eating habits," she said. "Efforts to increase mothers' fruit and vegetable intake would result in more positive role modeling."

In addition, Horodynski said, public health nurses and other health professionals must play an important role in enhancing mothers' awareness of the importance of health eating.

"Mother needs to have the knowledge and confidence to make these healthy decisions for their children," she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mildred A. Horodynski, Manfred Stommel, Holly Brophy-Herb, Yan Xie, Lorraine Weatherspoon. Populations at Risk Across the Lifespan: Case Studies: Low-Income African American and Non-Hispanic White Mothers' Self-Efficacy, “Picky Eater” Perception, and Toddler Fruit and Vegetable Consumption. Public Health Nursing, 2010; 27 (5): 408 DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2010.00873.x

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Mothers' diets have biggest influence on children eating healthy, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214181241.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2010, December 16). Mothers' diets have biggest influence on children eating healthy, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214181241.htm
Michigan State University. "Mothers' diets have biggest influence on children eating healthy, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214181241.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins