Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Family factors, breakfast habits and children's weight status across Europe

In a paper just published in the journal PLOS ONE we report on an investigation of associations of family-related factors with children’s breakfast consumption and body mass index (BMI-z-score). We also examined if children’s breakfast consumption mediates associations between family-related factors and children’s BMI. Our paper was part of our reports on the cross European ENERGY study, and Dr. Wendy van Lippevelde of Ghent University was first author on this paper.
Data from more than 6000 10-12 year olds and from one of their parents from 12 countries were used for this study.

We found that family breakfast was inversely associated with children's BMI: children where family breakfast was more common, had lower body weights for their heights. A broad range of family and parenting variables were associated with breakfast habits, such as parental encouragement, paying attention, permissiveness, and parental self-efficacy to address children’s nagging. The results support  that parenting factors should be addressed to promote healthy breakfast habits, which
may contribute to better energy balance in school-age children.