Abstract 15131: Eating Behaviors among Early Adolescent African American Girls and Their Parents
Introduction: Of grave concern are the rising rates of overweight/obesity in adolescent populations. While there have been efforts to address calories and food quality in schools and to examine the influence of peers on food choice, few studies have attempted to delineate the relationship between African American urban early adolescent girls’ and their parents’ eating behaviors. The purpose of this study was to explore eating behaviors of early adolescent African American girls ages 10 -12 and their parents. Hypothesis: We hypothesize that a positive correlation will exist between African American adolescent girls’ and their parents’ frequency of eating breakfast, dinner and snack during the week and on weekends, their daily servings of vegetables, fruit, grain, protein, dairy, and fats, oils and sweets, and their body mass index. In addition, their primary food source will be energy dense foods from fast food restaurants and the adolescent will not eat meals with their parent.
Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted in Midwestern, urban predominantly African American communities located in greater metropolitan areas of Chicago, Illinois. Fifty pairs of early adolescent African American girls and their parents responded to the Eating Habits Questionnaire and the Block Kids 2004 Food Frequency Questionnaire.
Results: The majority of the girls and parents ate breakfast and dinner during the week and weekends at home as opposed to at a restaurant. Both the girls and the parents overwhelmingly consumed energy dense, empty calorie, high fat, and high sugar foods. Many of the foods were consumed in the home. We found no correlation between adolescent’s eating meals with their parent and healthy food choices. Instead, we found a positive correlation between the healthy or unhealthy food choices of the girl and the food choices of the parent.
Conclusions: Results from this study suggest that interventions aimed at improving eating behaviors in early adolescent African American girls should include a parent in the study design. In addition, it may be more beneficial to focus efforts on changing the types of foods that girls and their parent are eating while at home because home was the common source of food acquisition for breakfast, dinner and snacks.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.