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Innovations in Children’s Diet-Related Behaviors

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021) | Viewed by 17660

Special Issue Editors

USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Interests: health disparities; obesity; chronic disease; children and families; low-income underserved communities; food access; food choice; food insecurity and hunger; nutrition and health outcomes; community-engaged approaches to population health; design, implementation, and evaluation of interventions in preschool, schools, and family- and community-based settings
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Deborah I Thompson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Interests: Dr. Thompson’s research focuses on the prevention of youth obesity and related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, through the promotion of healthy diet and physical activity. Her work can be placed into one of three categories—theory and measurement, to guide and accurately assess change; health message design, to ensure developmentally and culturally appropriate intervention messages; and design, development, and evaluation of interventions promoting behavior change. Much of her intervention work focuses on understanding how to use digital media to reach youth in ways that encourage and maintain change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

“You are what you eat.” We are sure each of you heard this as you were growing up and may even have passed it along to your children or young relatives. Although this adage has been around for a long time, it recognizes the critical role that diet has on health. As a health professional, you are well aware that healthy dietary intake during childhood is associated with current and future health, growth and development, and disease prevention.

This Special Issue focuses on “you are what you eat”. It seeks papers on studies on innovative nutrition education interventions and outcomes, conceptual models or studies demonstrating the effect of the food environment on children’s food consumption; communication strategies, including technology; nutrition-related economics; food safety education; and other topics related to children’s nutrition. We are interested in conception through adolescence. This Special Issue is designed to document and disseminate original qualitative and/or quantitative research and emerging issues and practices relevant to these issues globally. We welcome evidence-based manuscripts that provide new insights and useful findings related to childhood nutrition education research, practice, and policy. We also welcome review articles that highlight the significance of recent research in child nutrition and illustrate the central role of nutrition in the promotion of health and prevention of nutrition-related diseases in children like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases.

Please consider submitting an original article to this Special Issue. We welcome your participation and look forward to reading about the research you’re conducting to help us to better understand and promote healthy nutrition practices and behaviors toward children across the globe.

Dr. Jayna Markand Dave
Prof. Deborah I Thompson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Childhood and adolescence
  • Nutrition education
  • Food and nutrition environment
  • Communication strategies
  • Programming effects and outcomes
  • Food safety education
  • Nutrition-related economics
  • Prevention of chronic diseases
  • Technology

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 363 KiB  
Article
Reducing Obesogenic Eating Behaviors in Hispanic Children through a Family-Based, Culturally-Tailored RCT: Abriendo Caminos
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 1917; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19041917 - 09 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3310
Abstract
Family-based interventions that incorporate culturally-tailored multi-component curricula and are grounded on evidence-based information and theoretical frameworks can help reduce the prevalence of obesity among Hispanic children. Abriendo Caminos: Clearing the Path to Hispanic Health is a multi-site culturally-tailored randomized control trial that [...] Read more.
Family-based interventions that incorporate culturally-tailored multi-component curricula and are grounded on evidence-based information and theoretical frameworks can help reduce the prevalence of obesity among Hispanic children. Abriendo Caminos: Clearing the Path to Hispanic Health is a multi-site culturally-tailored randomized control trial that aims to reduce obesity rates in Hispanic families by delivering education on nutrition, family wellness, and physical activity. This study evaluated the effect of the Abriendo Caminos six-week intervention on dietary behaviors of Hispanic children (6–18 years). Mothers (n = 365) reported their child’s eating behavior intake using the U.S. Department of Education’s Early Childhood Longitudinal Study protocol (ECLS). Pre/post dietary changes were evaluated using separate generalized estimating equation models adjusted for site, child sex, and child age group. Findings indicate a reduction in the frequency of sugar-sweetened beverages (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.35, 0.87, p = 0.01), French fries (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.36, 0.86, p = 0.009), and fast food (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.36, 0.84, p = 0.006) consumption among children in the intervention arm. Additionally, children in the intervention arm increased their frequency of vegetable consumption (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.08, 3.12, p = 0.03). The Abriendo Caminos intervention effectively improved four of eight eating behaviors in a short-term intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Children’s Diet-Related Behaviors)
11 pages, 1521 KiB  
Article
An Experimental Study Evaluating the Influence of Front-of-Package Warning Labels on Adolescent’s Purchase Intention of Processed Food Products
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1094; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031094 - 19 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4453
Abstract
Front-of-package warning labels (WLs) are among the public health policies adopted by some countries, mainly in Latin-America, to tackle childhood obesity; however, their impact is still under review. The aim of this study was to assess, using an experimental design, whether WLs influence [...] Read more.
Front-of-package warning labels (WLs) are among the public health policies adopted by some countries, mainly in Latin-America, to tackle childhood obesity; however, their impact is still under review. The aim of this study was to assess, using an experimental design, whether WLs influence purchase intention of processed foods and identification of the healthiest products among adolescents in Peru, in May 2019, just before WLs mandatory implementation. Four hundred forty-nine adolescents from two public schools were randomly assigned to an experimental group (received three different processed products with either zero, one or two WLs, informing if they were high in sugar, sodium and/or saturated fats) or a control group (received the same products but unlabeled). Participants chose which product they would buy, and which they considered to be the healthiest. No differences between groups were found neither in purchase intention (p = 0.386) nor in the identification of the healthiest product (p = 0.322). In both groups, the most-selected product was always the healthiest of the triad (>40% in purchase intention and >80% in identification of the healthiest). Front-of-package WLs did not influence purchase intention, or identification of healthier products among adolescents from public schools in Peru. Mass media and educational campaigns should accompany the WLs implementation to help achieve the policy objective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Children’s Diet-Related Behaviors)
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12 pages, 318 KiB  
Article
Gender Differences in Nutritional Quality and Consumption of Lunches Brought from Home to School
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13168; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413168 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2023
Abstract
Gender difference in the lunches brought from home to school and the amount consumed by elementary and intermediate school students were examined using data collected from 12 schools in Texas. The amount and nutritional quality of food items brought and consumed was evaluated, [...] Read more.
Gender difference in the lunches brought from home to school and the amount consumed by elementary and intermediate school students were examined using data collected from 12 schools in Texas. The amount and nutritional quality of food items brought and consumed was evaluated, by comparing the results to the 2012 school meal standards, and Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). Almost all lunches brought from home contained grain and meat/meat alternatives, and the amount brought and consumed exceeded the NSLP standards. The majority of students did not bring fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods, but those who brought consumed most of what they brought. Among elementary school students, only 9% of boys and 14% of girls brought vegetables and the amount brought and consumed did not meet the standards. Although carbohydrate and protein consumption were adequate for boys and girls, the intakes of micronutrients and fiber did not meet the requirements across both genders at both school levels. Overall, lunches brought from home were not well balanced and did not meet NSLP standards and DRIs. It is imperative to identify strategies to improve the nutritional quality of lunches brought from home considering gender difference in food choice and educating parents and children on what is a healthy well-balanced lunch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Children’s Diet-Related Behaviors)
10 pages, 309 KiB  
Article
Perspectives of Black and Hispanic Children Living in Under-Resourced Communities on Meal Preparation and Grocery Shopping Behaviors: Implications for Nutrition Education
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12199; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212199 - 20 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1704
Abstract
Minority children living in under-resourced communities are at the greatest risk for obesity and poor diet quality. Child involvement in meal preparation may be a helpful strategy to improve diet quality. This paper explores minority children’s perspectives regarding this. Eighteen children participated in [...] Read more.
Minority children living in under-resourced communities are at the greatest risk for obesity and poor diet quality. Child involvement in meal preparation may be a helpful strategy to improve diet quality. This paper explores minority children’s perspectives regarding this. Eighteen children participated in a mixed methods study (online surveys, telephone interviews). Descriptive statistics were calculated for child demographic and psychosocial factors. Thematic analysis was used to code and analyze the interviews. Most children reported having cooking experience (83%) and cooking with family (94%) and exhibited high cooking self-efficacy (21.8 ± 2.9) and positive cooking attitudes (25.7 ± 4.4). Children reported helping with meal preparation (50%) and grocery shopping (41%) sometimes. The qualitative data further supported the results obtained from the children’s psychosocial factors. Most children noted the importance of learning to cook with an emphasis on life skills. Children also shared their level of involvement in cooking and grocery shopping. Most children reported using technology when cooking to find demonstration videos and recipes. These findings highlight that minority children participate in meal preparation and grocery shopping. Their perspectives are important for the development of nutrition education programs to achieve equitable dietary outcomes in minority families living in under-resourced communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Children’s Diet-Related Behaviors)
17 pages, 746 KiB  
Article
Feasibility and Efficacy of the “FUNPALs Playgroup” Intervention to Improve Toddler Dietary and Activity Behaviors: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7828; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157828 - 23 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2789
Abstract
This study evaluated the feasibility and effects of the Families Understanding Nutrition and Physically Active Lifestyles (FUNPALs) Playgroup on toddler (12–36-month-old) diet and activity behaviors. Parent–toddler dyads were recruited from disadvantaged communities and randomly assigned to receive 10-weekly sessions of the FUNPALs Playgroup [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the feasibility and effects of the Families Understanding Nutrition and Physically Active Lifestyles (FUNPALs) Playgroup on toddler (12–36-month-old) diet and activity behaviors. Parent–toddler dyads were recruited from disadvantaged communities and randomly assigned to receive 10-weekly sessions of the FUNPALs Playgroup (n = 24) or dose-matched health education control group (n = 26). FUNPALs Playgroups involved physical and snack activities, delivery of health information, and positive parenting coaching. The control group involved group health education for parents only. Process outcomes (e.g., retention rate, fidelity) and focus groups determined feasibility and perceived effects. To evaluate preliminary effects, validated measures of toddler diet (food frequency questionnaire and a carotenoid biomarker), physical activity (PA; accelerometers), general and feeding parenting (self-report surveys), and home environment (phone interview) were collected pre and post. The sample comprised parents (84% female) who self-identified as Hispanic/Latino (38%) and/or African American (32%). Retention was high (78%). Parents from both groups enjoyed the program and perceived improvements in their children’s health behaviors. Objective measures demonstrated improvement with large effects (η2 = 0.29) in toddler diet (p < 0.001) but not PA (p = 0.099). In conclusion, the FUNPALs Playgroup is feasible and may improve toddler eating behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Children’s Diet-Related Behaviors)
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10 pages, 355 KiB  
Article
Associations between Screen-Based Activities, Physical Activity, and Dietary Habits in Mexican Schoolchildren
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6788; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136788 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2565
Abstract
Screen-based activities are associated with increased risk of obesity and contribute to physical inactivity and poor dietary habits. The primary aim of this study was to examine the associations among screen-based activities, physical activity, and dietary habits in school-aged children in Guadalajara, Puerto [...] Read more.
Screen-based activities are associated with increased risk of obesity and contribute to physical inactivity and poor dietary habits. The primary aim of this study was to examine the associations among screen-based activities, physical activity, and dietary habits in school-aged children in Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and Mexico City, Mexico. The secondary aim was to examine these associations across sex. The School Physical Activity and Nutrition survey was used to assess screen-based activities (TV watching, video game use, computer use), physical activity, and dietary habits. Organized activity/sports participation, unhealthy dietary habits, and household income were correlated with screen-based activities. While TV watching was associated with decreased participation in organized activity/sports participation, computer and video game use was associated with increased organized activity/sports participation. Boys engaged in more TV watching and video game use compared to girls. All screen-based activities were associated with age among boys; whereas video game and computer use were associated with higher income among girls. These findings suggest a need for sex- and age-specific strategies that acknowledge the differential use of screen-based activities across sex and age. Future research should continue to identify underlying correlates linking screen-based activities with health behaviors to inform strategies to reduce screen-time in Mexican children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Children’s Diet-Related Behaviors)
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