Author(s): Feunekes GI, de Graaf C, Meyboom S, van Staveren WA
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Influences of the social environment are important in determining eating behavior. Family influences have been demonstrated by resemblances in intakes within families, but research on resemblance in intake between friends is lacking. We investigated the resemblance in fat and food intake within social networks that included family members and peers. METHODS: Fat consumption was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire in 361 social networks consisting of 15-year-old adolescents (n = 347), their mothers (n = 309), their fathers (n = 270), their friends (n = 240), 79 friends of mothers, and 29 friends of fathers. Ten family interviews and four focus group interviews were carried out in a subsample. RESULTS: Within the nuclear family, the intake of 76 to 94\% of the foods was significantly associated, which resulted in moderate Pearson correlations for fat and fatty acid intake (\% of energy intake) between parents (0.30-0.34), between mother and child (0.19-0.38), and between father and child (0.16-0.26). No significant correlations for fat intake were found between friends, but the consumption of specific foods was related. CONCLUSIONS: We found clear resemblance in habitual fat and food intake between parents and their adolescent children and between spouses. Friends do not seem to have a lot of influence on the fat intake of adolescents and adults in this population. Copyright 1998 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.
This article was published in Prev Med
and referenced in Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy