Impact Factor

Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Psychol., 29 April 2014 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00374

Parent routines, child routines, and family demographics associated with obesity in parents and preschool-aged children

Blake L. Jones1*, Barbara H. Fiese2 and The STRONG Kids Team2†
  • 1Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
  • 2Department of Human and Community Development, Family Resiliency Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA

Many daily routines and behaviors are related to the prevalence of obesity. This study investigated the association between routines and behaviors that act as protective factors related to lower prevalence of obesity in parents (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and overweight in preschool children (BMI ≥ 85th percentile). Socio-demographic characteristics were assessed in relation to protective routines (PRs), and prevalence of obesity/overweight data from 337 preschool children and their parents. The two PRs assessed with parents included adequate sleep (≥7 h/night) and family mealtime routine (scoring higher than the median score). The four PRs assessed in children included adequate sleep (≥10 h/night), family mealtime routine, limiting screen-viewing time (≤2 h/day of TV, video, DVD), and not having a bedroom TV. Overall, 27.9% of parents were obese and 22.8% of children were overweight, and 39.8% of the parents had both parent PRs, and only 11.6% of children had all four child PRs. Results demonstrated that several demographic factors were significantly related to the use of PRs for parents and children. The lack of PRs was related to increased risk for overweight in children, but not for obesity in parents. However, in the adjusted models the overall cumulative benefits of using PRs was not significant in children either. In the multivariate adjusted logistic regression models, the only significant individual PR for children was adequate sleep. In a path analysis model, parent sleep was related to child sleep, which was in turn related to decreased obesity. Overall, findings suggest that parent and child PRs, especially sleep routines, within a family can be associated and may play an important role in the health outcomes of both parents and children. Understanding the mechanisms that influence how and when parents and children use these PRs may be promising for developing targeted family-based obesity-prevention efforts.

Keywords: obesity, health, protective routines (PR), adequate sleep, limited screen time, mealtimes, bedroom televisions, preschool children

Citation: Jones BL, Fiese BH and The STRONG Kids Team (2014) Parent routines, child routines, and family demographics associated with obesity in parents and preschool-aged children. Front. Psychol. 5:374. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00374

Received: 31 December 2013; Accepted: 08 April 2014;
Published online: 29 April 2014.

Edited by:

Carla Crespo, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Reviewed by:

Carlos Carona, The University of Coimbra, Portugal
Jaimee Stuart, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Copyright © 2014 Jones, Fiese and The STRONG Kids Team. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Blake L. Jones, Purdue University, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Hanley Hall, Room 229, 1202 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2005, USA e-mail: blakejones@purdue.edu

The STRONG Kids Team members include: Kristen Harrison, Kelly Bost, Sharon Donovan, Brent McBride, Diana Grigsby-Toussaint, Angela Wiley, and Margarita Teran-Garcia