Objective: Examine how maternal parenting behaviors in childhood, both general and feeding specific, relate to weight status and fruit and vegetable consumption in college students.
Design: Retrospective surveys on maternal behaviors and assessments on the college-aged child's current anthropometric measures and dietary intakes.
Participants: College students (n = 424; 66% women).
Main outcome measures: Students' weight, height, waist circumference, fruit and vegetable intakes, students' reports on mothers' general and feeding-specific parenting behaviors during childhood.
Analysis: Correlation and regression analyses tested how maternal behaviors in childhood related to students' body mass index, waist circumference, and fruit and vegetable intake.
Results: Mothers' psychological control during childhood was associated with higher body mass index and waist circumference in students, and behavioral control was associated with lower waist circumference. Parent-centered feeding behaviors related to lower fruit and vegetable intakes of students, whereas child-centered feeding behaviors related to higher fruit and vegetable intakes.
Conclusions and implications: Findings suggest that parental use of behavioral control and child-centered feeding practices and minimal use of psychological control and parent-centered feeding practices during childhood may promote a child's healthful weight status and fruit and vegetable consumption in young adulthood, specifically during college.
Copyright © 2012 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.