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Publication Detail
Maternal characteristics associated with the obesogenic quality of the home environment in early childhood.
The home environment is likely to influence children's diet and activity patterns and ultimately, their weight trajectories. Identifying family characteristics associated with a more 'obesogenic' home can provide insight into the determinants, and has implications for targeting and tailoring strategies to promote healthier lifestyles. The present study examined maternal characteristics associated with a more obesogenic home environment in 1113 families with preschool children. Primary caregivers (99% mothers) from the Gemini cohort completed the Home Environment Interview (HEI) when their children were 4 years old. Maternal demographics and BMI were assessed in the Gemini baseline questionnaire when the children were on average 8 months old. Maternal eating style was assessed when the children were on average 2 years old, using the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ). Responses to the HEI were standardized and summed to create a composite score of the obesogenic quality of the home; this was categorized into tertiles. Multivariate ordinal logistic regression showed that mothers who were younger (adjusted OR; 95% CI = 0.96; 0.94-0.98), less educated (1.97; 1.40-2.77), and had lower incomes (1.89; 1.43-2.49) at baseline were more likely to live in an obesogenic home environment at 4 years, as were mothers who scored higher on the DEBQ External Eating scale (1.40; 1.16-1.70) at 2 years, and had a higher baseline BMI (1.05; 1.02-1.08). Using a novel, composite measure of the home environment, this study finds that families who are more socio-economically deprived, and where the mothers are themselves heavier and have a more food responsive eating style, tend to provide a home environment with the hallmarks of a higher risk of weight gain.
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