Children’s Executive Function and High-Calorie, Low-Nutrient Food Intake: Mediating Effects of Child-Perceived Adult Fast Food Intake.
Sommaire de l'article
This study tested the relationships among child executive function (EF), child-perceived parent fast food intake, and child self-reported subsequent consumption of high-calorie, low-nutrient (HCLN) food.
One year and 6-month longitudinal observation from a larger randomized controlled trial.
Southern California elementary schools.
Fourth- and fifth-grade children (N = 1,005) participating in the Pathways to Health obesity prevention program.
Child EF problems were associated with higher concurrent HCLN intake (B = 0.29, SE = 0.10, p < .001) and had a significant indirect effect through higher perceived frequency of parent fast food intake (indirect effect = 0.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [0.11, 0.25], p < .001). Longitudinally, child EF problems did not significantly predict higher HCLN intake a year and a half later (B = 0.01, SE = 0.10, p = .92, n = 848) but did have a significant indirect effect through higher perceived parent fast food intake (indirect effect = 0.05, 95% CI = [0.02, 0.10], p < .001).
Children's EF difficulties may increase their perception of parent concurrent fast food intake, contributing to their own unhealthy food intake. However, EF problems may not directly affect HCLN intake across time, except when problems are associated with child perception of more frequent parent consumption of convenience foods. Future research is needed to investigate the possibility that helping children perceive and understand role models' convenience food consumption may improve child dietary consumption patterns.