Ethnic differences in the home food environment and parental food practices among families of low-income Hispanic and African-American preschoolers

J Immigr Minor Health. 2012 Dec;14(6):1014-22. doi: 10.1007/s10903-012-9575-9.

Abstract

The family and home environment are important in shaping the dietary patterns of children, yet research among low-income, minority groups is limited. We examined ethnic differences in the home food environment and parental practices among 706 low-income, African-American and Hispanic families of preschoolers. Questionnaires measured the access and availability of various foods in the home, parental practices, and meal consumption behaviors. Mixed model logistic regression and ANCOVA were used to assess ethnic differences. Unhealthy foods were available for both groups. Hispanic families were more likely to have fresh vegetables (AOR = 2.9, P ≤ 0.001), fruit (AOR = 2.0, P = 0.004), and soda available (AOR = 1.40, P = 0.001) compared to African-Americans. African-Americans families were more likely to restrict (AOR = 0.63, P ≤ 0.001) and reward with dessert (AOR = 0.69, P ≤ 0.001). Hispanic families consumed more family meals together (P = 0.003) and less meals in front of the television (P ≤ 0.006). Health promotion interventions should consider the behavioral differences between ethnicities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / psychology
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Characteristics
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology
  • Female
  • Food / statistics & numerical data
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Poverty / psychology
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas / epidemiology