Publication Abstract

Authors: Erinosho TO, Berrigan D, Thompson FE, Moser RP, Nebeling LC, Yaroch AL

Title: Dietary intakes of preschool-aged children in relation to caregivers' race/ethnicity, acculturation, and demographic characteristics: results from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey.

Journal: Matern Child Health J 16(9):1844-53

Date: 2012 Dec

Abstract: Few studies have examined the influence of acculturation on dietary behaviors of young children while controlling for other demographic variables. The purpose of this study was to assess reported dietary intakes of preschool-aged children (3-5 years) and subsequent associations with caregivers' race/ethnicity, acculturation and demographic characteristics, using data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). Analysis was restricted to Hispanic and non-Hispanic white caregivers and their preschool-aged children (n = 1,105). Caregivers' acculturation was assessed using place of birth, duration of United States residence, and language spoken at home. Proxy-reports by caregivers to a dietary screener were used to estimate children's intakes of fruit, 100% fruit juice, vegetables, sweets, and sugar-sweetened beverages consumed. In multivariate analyses, Hispanic caregivers reported their children consumed fewer servings of vegetables than did the children of non-Hispanic white caregivers; there were no other statistically significant differences in children's dietary intakes by caregivers' race/ethnicity. Caregivers' acculturation was associated with caregiver-reported consumption of sweets by children (β = 0.09, 95%CI = 0.01-0.18). Demographic characteristics that were associated with reported dietary intakes of children included caregivers' age, education, and geographic region of residence. In contrast to past studies of acculturation and diet in older children and adults, this study suggests that for 3-5 year olds, caregivers' level of acculturation does not play as strong a role in the dietary intakes of the younger children under their care.