The Impact of Family Rules on Children’s Eating Habits, Sedentary Behaviors, and Weight Status.
Sommaire de l'article
Family rules may be influential in helping children to modify their dietary and sedentary behaviors, which are important modifiable risk factors for childhood obesity. However, data examining family rules in relation to children's health behaviors and weight status are limited.
This cross-sectional study examined differences in family rules by demographic characteristics of students enrolled in the HEROES (Healthy, Energetic, Ready, Outstanding, Enthusiastic Schools) Initiative, a school-based childhood obesity prevention program. It also investigated the relationship between eating and screen time family rules and six eating and screen time behaviors: fast food consumption; soft drink consumption; fruit and vegetable intake; television viewing; computer use; and video game use, in addition to the association between family rules and children's weight status. Measures included self-reported behavioral data and anthropometric data from students in fourth to eighth grade at 16 schools (N=2819) in a tri-state area of the United States in spring 2012.
Approximately one-third of students had each of the family rules examined. Whereas the profile of students who had specific rules varied, in general, younger, female, white, and low socioeconomic status students were more likely to have rules than their counterparts. Family rules were associated with healthier outcomes for each of the six behaviors examined (p<0.001), even after controlling for demographics (p<0.001). However, family rules were not associated with children's weight status.
This study demonstrates that family rules are an underutilized strategy to promote healthier eating habits and reduce children's screen time hours and may serve as an intermediary mechanism to curb childhood obesity.