Changes in adolescents’ and parents’ intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit and vegetables after 20 months: results from the HEIA study - a comprehensive, multi-component school-based randomized trial
Background: Interventions conducted in school-aged children often involve parents, but few studies have reported effects on parents’ own behaviour as a result of these interventions.
Objective: To determine if a multi-component, cluster randomized controlled trial targeting 11–13 year olds influenced their consumption of fruit, vegetables, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks, and to explore whether the results varied by gender, adolescent weight status or parental educational level. A final aim was to assess whether the parents’ intakes were affected by the intervention.
Design: Participants were 1,418 adolescents, 849 mothers and 680 fathers. Baseline and post-intervention data from the 20 months intervention study HEIA (HEalth In Adolescents) were included. Data were collected assessing frequency (and amounts; beverages only).
Results: No significant differences were found at baseline between the intervention and control groups, except for the parental groups (educational level and intakes). At post-intervention, the adolescents in the intervention group consumed fruit more frequently (P<0.001) and had a lower intake of sugar-sweetened fruit drinks compared to the control group (P=0.02). The parental educational level moderated the effect on intake of sugar-sweetened fruit drinks in adolescents. The intake was less frequent in the intervention groups compared to the control groups (P=0.02) for those who had parents with low and medium educational level. Furthermore, the intervention may have affected mothers’ fruit intake and the vegetable intake in higher educated fathers.
Conclusion: Favourable effects in favour of the intervention group were found for intake of fruit and sugar-sweetened fruit drinks among the adolescents in the HEIA study. Our results indicate that it is possible to reduce adolescents’ intake of sugar-sweetened fruit drinks across parental education, and potentially affect sub-groups of parents.
Keywords: children; parent; fruit; vegetables; beverages
(Published: 20 March 2015)
Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2015, 59: 25932 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v59.25932
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