Is adolescents' food intake associated with exposure to the food intake of their mothers and best friends?
Number of pages
SourceNutrients, 12, (2020), article 786
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
SW OZ BSI ON
SubjectDevelopmental Psychopathology; Social Development
Both mothers' and best friends' food intake are associated with adolescents' food intake, but they are rarely investigated simultaneously. In this study, we tested the associations of mothers' and best friends’ food intake with adolescents' intake of unhealthy and healthy food, obtained from home and from outside the home, and the moderating role of adolescents' exposure to their food intake. Participants included 667 adolescents (53% female, Mage = 12.9) and 396 of their mothers. Within this adolescent sample, 378 best friend dyads were identified. All participants completed food frequency questionnaires. Mothers separately reported on their food intake in the presence and absence of their child, and adolescents indicated how often they ate and drank together with their best friend during school breaks. Mothers', but not best friends', food intake was positively related to adolescents' intake of unhealthy and healthy food obtained from home and healthy food obtained from outside the home. Exposure to mothers' healthy food intake magnified mother-child similarities in healthy food intake. Exposure to best friends' intake of unhealthy food moderated adolescent-friend similarities in unhealthy food intake. Future work should assess the mechanisms that underlie these similarities, and should investigate these associations over time and in later developmental periods.
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