Parental Influence on Child Diet and Weight Outcomes

Noura E. Insolera, CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR) and University of Michigan

Using data from the 1999 Panel Study of Income Dynamics and its 2002 Child Development Supplement, connections between parental nutritional knowledge, child dietary diversity, and child weight status are examined. The sample consists of over 1,600 parent-child pairs. The analysis examines factors including age, race, income-to-needs ratios, parental educational attainment, and parental weight status. By focusing on the widely used United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food group guidelines for diversity in diet, we can begin to inform the question of whether parental nutritional guideline knowledge has an impact on child diet, and in turn on a child’s obesity status, and the role that social and economic factors play in modifying these relationships. This research project begins to quantify the role that parental knowledge plays in influencing child health outcomes in their specific social environments and within their familial socio-economic boundary constraints.

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 Presented in Session P7. Health and Mortality of Women, Children and Families