Investigating the momentary association between maternal support and children's fruit and vegetable consumption using ecological momentary assessment

Bridgette Do, Chih Hsiang Yang, Nanette V. Lopez, Tyler B. Mason, Gayla Margolin, Genevieve F. Dunton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite compelling evidence that fruit and vegetable (F/V) consumption can reduce the risk of obesity and chronic disease, most children fail to meet the daily recommendations for dietary consumption. Theoretical models and empirical findings suggest that parents play a key role in guiding children's overall dietary behaviors. To extend previous findings, the current study utilized ecological momentary assessment (EMA) on smartphones to assess the within-subject and between-subject effects of maternal support (i.e., encouragement, preparation) of F/V on their child's F/V consumption. Mother-child dyads (n = 191) completed six semi-annual 7-day waves of EMA surveys. EMA assessed mothers' past 2-h support for F/V and children's F/V consumption. At the within-subject level, greater maternal encouragement for F/Vs (OR = 2.41) and maternal preparation of F/Vs (OR = 1.43) than usual were associated with increased odds of their child eating F/V during the same 2-h window. At the between-subject level, greater maternal preparation of F/V (OR = 5.99), compared to other mothers, was associated with increased odds of their child eating F/V. Children with lower BMI (vs. higher BMI) were more likely to consume F/Vs when their mothers encouraged them to eat F/V (OR = 0.74). These findings suggest that maternal support may have a strong and immediate effect on children's F/V consumption. Theoretical models on behavior change should consider how explanatory factors, such as parental support, may vary at the momentary level. Boosting maternal support at the momentary level may be a critical component of future mobile-based interventions to address childhood obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104667
JournalAppetite
Volume150
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • Children
  • Diet
  • Ecological momentary assessment (EMA)
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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