Dads at the dinner table a cross-sectional study of Australian fathers' child feeding perceptions and practices

Mallan, Kimberley M., Daniels, Lynne, Thorpe, Karen J., Nothard, Michaela, Nicholson, Jan, Scuffham, Paul, Cameron, Cate M., & Wilson, Andrew (2014) Dads at the dinner table a cross-sectional study of Australian fathers' child feeding perceptions and practices. Appetite, 73, pp. 40-44.

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Abstract

Maternal perceptions and practices regarding child feeding have been extensively studied in the context of childhood overweight and obesity. To date, there is scant evidence on the role of fathers in child feeding. This cross-sectional study aimed to identify whether characteristics of fathers and their concerns about their children’s risk of overweight were associated with child feeding perceptions and practices. Questionnaires were used to collect data from 436 Australian fathers (mean age = 37 years, SD = 6) of a child (53% boys) aged between 2-5 years (M = 3.5 years, SD = 0.9). These data included a range of demographic variables and selected subscales from the Child Feeding Questionnaire on concern about child weight, perceived responsibility for child feeding and controlling practices (pressure to eat and restriction). Multivariable linear regression was used to examine associations between demographic variables and fathers’ feeding perceptions and practices. Results indicated that fathers’ who were more concerned about their child becoming overweight reported higher perceived responsibility for child feeding and were more controlling of what and how much their child eats. Greater time commitment to paid work, possessing a health care card (indicative of socioeconomic disadvantage) and younger child age were associated with fathers’ perceiving less responsibility for feeding. Factors such as paternal BMI and education level, as well as child gender were not associated with feeding perceptions or practices. This study contributes to the extant literature on fathers’ role in child feeding, revealing several implications for research and interventions in the child feeding field.

Impact and interest:

9 citations in Scopus
9 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 63725
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: fathers, child feeding
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.10.006
ISSN: 1095-8304
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100) > Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified (111199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Appetite. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Appetite, [VOL 73 (2014)] DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.10.006
Deposited On: 27 Oct 2013 23:18
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2016 06:09

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