Objective: To examine the effects of child-oriented dietary intervention on parental eating attitudes and dietary behaviour.
Design: In the prospective, randomized Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intervention Project for Children (the STRIP study), a cohort of Finnish families took part in a nutritional intervention trial focused on the quality of their children's fat intake since the age of 8 months. Health-related and hedonic eating attitudes of the parents were measured after 10 years of dietary intervention using a validated Health and Taste Attitude Scales (HTAS) questionnaire (n 660). Parents' eating behaviour was studied using a 1 d food record (n 491).
Subjects: Mothers and fathers (n 660) of the STRIP children.
Results: The parents of the intervention families had a higher level of interest in healthy eating compared with control parents. The interest in natural products or hedonic eating attitudes did not differ between the groups. The parents' general health interest was associated with low saturated fat intake, fruit and vegetable consumption, fibre intake and seeking pleasure in eating, but it was not associated with BMI. The intervention also improved the quality of dietary fat among parents with the lowest level of interest in healthy eating.
Conclusions: Parents' general health interest was associated with regular dietary counselling as well as with healthier food choice behaviour. However, the dietary intervention that focused especially on the quality of the child's fat intake also enhanced specific changes in the family's fat consumption without a high level of interest in healthy eating.