Ecological Variables and Eating Behaviors in Early Adolescent African American Girls and Their Parent
Collins, Monique A.
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Few studies have been conducted that explore the relationship between African American urban early adolescent girls’ and their parents’ eating behaviors (frequency, portion and types of foods selected for breakfast, dinner and snack). Because early adolescence is a critical period in a female’s life for predicting adolescent and adult behavior, it is important to explore the relationship among African American early adolescent girls’ and their parents’ eating behaviors. This is the first known study to report both the adolescent’s and parent’s perspective of whom they ate breakfast and dinner with during the week and weekend. Our study found no correlation between adolescent’s eating family meals with their parent and healthy food choices. Instead, our study found that a better predictor of healthy or unhealthy food choices was the food choices of the parent. We found that early adolescent African American girls and their parents do not frequently skip breakfast or dinner and they frequently eat at home yet they still have obesity rates higher than the national average. Results from this study suggest that 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.
early adolescent girl