Background: Parents and peers are both likely to influence childrens dietary behaviour. However, their actual influence may depend on the age and life stage of the individual child. Therefore, this study examined the influence of parents (home snack availability and consumption rules) and peers on 11-year-old childrens snack consumption, and whether these associations were mediated by childrens snack-purchasing behaviour. It was hypothesized that children are more likely to buy unhealthy snacks if these are not always available at home, if restrictive rules apply to their consumption and if a child is sensitive to peer influence. It was also assumed that children who buy snacks out of their pocket money would consume more snacks. Methods: Data were taken from 1203 parentchild dyads who completed a questionnaire in the INPACT study (IVO Physical Activity Child cohorT). Multivariable regression models were used to (i) analyze associations between childrens consumption and parents and peers influence and (ii) determine whether these associations were mediated by childrens snackpurchasing behaviour. Results: Of the parental factors, home availability of snacks was associated with higher snack consumption (B = 1.03, P < 0.05). Parental factors and childrens snack-purchasing behaviour were not associated. Children who were sensitive to peer influence consumed more snacks (B=3 07, P < 0.01) and bought more snacks out of their pocket money (odds ratio 3.27, P < 0.0.01). Childrens snack-purchasing behaviour explained part (8.6%) of the association between peer influence and childrens snack consumption. Conclusion: As these findings indicate that both parents and peers influence childrens snack consumption, health promotion may benefit from targeting the broader social environment.,
European Journal of Public Health
Department of Public Health

van Ansem, W., Schrijvers, C., Rodenburg, G., & van de Mheen, D. (2015). Childrens snack consumption: Role of parents, peers and child snack-purchasing behaviour. Results from the INPACT study. European Journal of Public Health, 25(6), 1006–1011. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckv098