Parental work status and children's dietary consumption: Australian evidence

Naser A. Alsharairi, Shawn Somerset

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated associations between parents' work status and the dietary consumption patterns of Australian children, and whether such associations vary by parental education and usage of nonparental childcare. Data from the longitudinal study of Australian children at two waves from ages 2–3 years (n = 4601) to 4–5 years (n = 4381) were analysed. Logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios of children consuming (≥1 times/day) fruit and vegetables (FV), high fat foods (HFF), high sugar drinks (HSD), as well as evaluating the incidence of breakfast consumption. This was analysed against the employment status of parents including full-time, part-time and unemployed. Children of part-time employed mothers were more likely to consume breakfast, and less likely to consume HSD compared with children of full-time employed mothers. Children of part-time employed fathers were less likely to consume FV and breakfast, and more likely to consume HSD compared with children of full-time employed fathers. Children of nonemployed mothers were more likely to consume HFF, whilst those of nonemployed fathers were more likely to consume HSD and less likely to consume breakfast compared with other children. Amongst less-educated parents, children of unemployed and part-time employed parents were more likely to consume HFF and HSD and less likely to consume FV and breakfast compared with children of full-time employed parents. Amongst highly educated parents, children of unemployed and part-time employed mothers were less likely to consume HSD compared with children of full-time employed mothers. Children of part-time employed mothers who used family day care, day care centres and grandparent care were less likely to consume HSD and more likely to consume breakfast compared with children of full-time employed mothers. Children of part-time employed fathers and unemployed parents who used day care centres and grandparent care were less likely to consume FV and more likely to consume HFF compared with children of full-time employed parents. Future studies should pursue a better understanding of the mechanisms for the adverse effects of parental work status on dietary consumption to develop and enhance specific interventions targeting these groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-532
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

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