242514 Determinants of Youth Asking Parents for Fruits and Vegetables: Results from a Salient Belief Elicitation

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 1:00 PM

Alyssa M. Lederer, MPH, CHES , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Nicole Smith, MPH, CHES , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Susan E. Middlestadt, PhD , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Darleesa Doss, MPH , Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
BACKGROUND: Poor nutrition is recognized as a major contributing factor to overweight and obesity among adolescents. Fruit and vegetable (FV) availability is positively associated with increased FV consumption among youth. Although caregivers are responsible for providing FV, their communication process with children and the role children can play have been largely ignored. This study examines the factors associated with youth asking their parents to make FV available in the home. METHODS: Students from three rural middle schools (N=60) participated in semi-structured interviews as part of a salient belief elicitation based on the Reasoned Action Approach about the advantages, disadvantages, and what might make it easy and hard to ask their parents to make FV available. A content analysis identified the most frequently mentioned responses. RESULTS: Most (64.4%) youth have asked their parents to make FV available. While the most frequently mentioned advantage was “will make me healthier" (48.3%), youth also recognized a number of communication issues. Many said “parents would say no,” “parents would buy FV I do not like,” or “I want to eat other things.” Youth also stated that “asking at convenient times” such as while at the store would make it easier to ask their parents for FV. DISCUSSION: Youth are aware of the health benefits of eating FV and want to play a part in deciding what FV are available in the home. Future interventions should focus on the parent-child communication process, including children playing an active role in shopping and meal planning.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the gap in the literature regarding children’s influence on parental health behavior 2. List the salient beliefs that youth hold related to asking their parents to have fruits and vegetables available at home 3. Determine ways to enhance nutritional interventions through improved parent-child communication

Keywords: Nutrition, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present this content because I am part of the research team that conducted this study. I have a graduate degree in public health and several years of experience in public health, health education, and health promotion. Furthermore, my PhD training is in theory-driven interventions and data analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.