TitleThe Family-Home Nutrition Environment and Dietary Intake in Rural Children.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsJackson, JA, Smit, E, Manore, MM, John, DH, Gunter, K
Date Published2015 Dec

Obesity and food insecurity rates are higher among rural compared to non-rural populations. Little is known, however, about how family-home environments influence childhood obesity-related behaviors, particularly in rural settings. This study examined associations between the family-home nutrition (FN) environment, food insecurity, and dietary intake (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, protein foods, and added sugars) in rural elementary school-age children (grades K-5/6; n = 102). Parents/caregivers completed surveys on FN, food insecurity, and the Block Kids Food Screener (BKFS). Body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) was calculated from measured height and weight. Approximately 33% of children were classified as overweight/obese and 28% of families were at-risk for food insecurity. Multivariable linear regression analyses examined associations between dietary intakes with FN and food insecurity. More favorable FN scores were associated with lower added sugar intake (B = -1.38, p = 0.04) and higher vegetable (B = 0.15, p < 0.001), fruit (B = 0.71, p = 0.01), and dairy (B = 0.31, p < 0.001) intakes. No significant associations were found between food insecurity and dietary intake. Given the association between higher FN scores and more favorable dietary intake, promoting healthy FN environments among rural children is warranted.