Previous studies have examined the independent influence of mother’s weight status or child’s weight status on parents’ use of specific feeding practices (ie, food restriction, pressure-to-eat). However, studies have not examined the mutual influence of parents’ and adolescents’ weight status on parents’ feeding practices. This study examines the relationship between parent and adolescent weight status concordance and discordance and parent feeding practices.
Data from 2 linked population-based studies, Eating and Activity in Teens (EAT) 2010 and Families and Eating and Activity in Teens (F-EAT), were used for cross-sectional analysis. Parents (n = 3252; 63% female; mean age 42.6 years) and adolescents (n = 2153; 54% female; mean age 14.4 years) were socioeconomically and racially/ethnically diverse. Anthropometric assessments and surveys were completed at school by adolescents, and surveys were completed at home by parents.
Parents used the highest levels of pressure-to-eat feeding practices when parents and adolescents were both nonoverweight compared with all other combinations of concordant and discordant parent/adolescent weight status categories. Additionally, parents used the highest levels of food restriction when parents and adolescents were both overweight/obese compared with all other combinations of concordant and discordant parent/adolescent weight status categories. Sensitivity analyses with 2-parent households revealed similar patterns.
Results suggest that parents use feeding practices in response to both their adolescents’ and their own weight status. Results may inform health care providers and public health interventionists about which parent/adolescent dyads are at highest risk for experiencing food restriction or pressure-to-eat parent feeding practices in the home environment and whom to target in interventions.