Improved Parental Dietary Quality Is Associated with Children's Dietary Intake Through the Home Environment

Published in: Obesity Science & Practice, Volume 3, Issue 1 March 2017. Pages 75-82. doi:10.1002/osp4.81

Posted on RAND.org on May 16, 2017

by Karen Rocío Flórez, Andrea Richardson, Madhumita Ghosh Dastidar, Robin Beckman, Christina Y. Huang, Laura M. Wagner, Tamara Dubowitz

Read More

Access further information on this document at Obesity Science & Practice

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Background

Improving access to supermarkets has been shown to improve some dietary outcomes, yet there is little evidence for such effects on children. Relatedly, there is a dearth of research assessing the impact of a structural change (i.e. supermarket in a former food desert) on the home environment and its relationship with children's diet.

Objective

Assess the relative impact of the home environment on children's diet after the introduction of a new supermarket in a food desert.

Methods

Among a randomly selected cohort of households living in a food desert, parental diet was assessed before and after the opening of a full-service supermarket. The home environment and children's intake of fruits and vegetables was measured at one point — after the store's opening. Structural equation models were used to estimate the pathways between changes in parental dietary quality at follow-up and children's dietary intake through the home environment.

Results

Parental dietary improvement after the supermarket opened was associated with having a better home environment ([Beta] = 0.45, p = 0.001) and with healthier children's dietary intake ([Beta] = 0.46, p<0.001) through higher family nutrition and physical activity scores ([Beta] = 0.25, p = 0.02).

Conclusions

Policy solutions designed to improve diet among low-resource communities should take into account the importance of the home environment.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.