General parenting styles are not strongly associated with fruit and vegetable intake and social-environmental correlates among 11-year-old children in four countries in Europe

I. de Bourdeaudhuij, S.J. te Velde, L. Maes, C. Perez-Rodrigo, M.D.V. de Almeida, J. Brug

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OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake in 11-year-olds, and social-environmental correlates of F&V intake such as parental modelling and encouragement, family food rules and home availability, differ according to general parenting styles in Belgium, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Primary schools in four countries. SUBJECTS: Pupils and one of their parents completed questionnaires to measure F&V intake, related social-environmental correlates and general parenting styles. The sample size was 4555 (49.3 % boys); 1180 for Belgium, 883 for The Netherlands, 1515 for Portugal and 977 for Spain. Parenting styles were divided into authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent and neglectful. RESULTS: No differences were found in F&V intake across parenting styles and only very few significant differences in social-environmental correlates. The authoritarian (more parental encouragement and more demands to eat fruit) and the authoritative (more availability of fruit and vegetables) parenting styles resulted in more favourable correlates. CONCLUSION: Despite earlier studies suggesting that general parenting styles are associated with health behaviours in children, the present study suggests that this association is weak to non-existent for F&V intakes in four different European countries
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)259-266
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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