Dr. Kristi Adamo and PhD Student Kendra Brett have authored a paper, “Parental Perceptions and Childhood Dietary Quality,” that was recently published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal. Citation details are below along with a summary of the paper.
Adamo KB, Brett KE. Parental Perceptions and Childhood Dietary Quality. Matern Child Health J. 2013 Jul 2. [Epub ahead of print]
ABSTRACT:Â The early years represent a critical period of growth and development of health behaviours. While optimal child growth is associated with a complex set of factors, the importance ofÂ dietÂ qualityÂ is undeniable. The objective of this narrative review is to examine contributors to childÂ dietÂ qualityÂ andparentalÂ perceptionÂ and how suchÂ perceptionsÂ might affect childÂ dietÂ quality. An extensive literature search was conducted, generating a variety of sources including research trials (randomized and non-randomized), lab-based studies, cohort studies, topical reviews, government or NGO reports and grey literature. In addition, reflection and opinion, accrued through regular interaction with families, regarding some of the potential links has also been included.Â ParentalÂ perceptionÂ ofÂ dietÂ qualityÂ is influenced by many different social, biological economical and psychological factors. Research suggests thatÂ dietÂ qualityÂ of today’s children is sub-optimal and a parent’sÂ perceptionÂ of their child’sÂ dietÂ may not accurately reflect this reality. VariousÂ parentalÂ attitudes andÂ perceptions/misperceptions are important to address as knowledge awareness and beliefs can impactÂ dietÂ qualityÂ as canÂ parentalÂ practices, and family structure. Issues related to socioeconomics and convenience, and a child’s preferences and their peer and/or social environment are also potential factors impacting childÂ dietÂ quality. Knowing thatÂ parentsÂ play such an integral role in the development and maintenance of their child’s health behaviours, addressing misconceptions and unhealthyÂ parentalÂ beliefs aboutÂ dietÂ qualityÂ may be an important area for early intervention and prevention work in childhood obesity.