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The relative association between the local food environment, psychosocial factors and dietary inequalities among mothers in Hampshire

The relative association between the local food environment, psychosocial factors and dietary inequalities among mothers in Hampshire
The relative association between the local food environment, psychosocial factors and dietary inequalities among mothers in Hampshire
The poor dietary behaviours of mothers with low educational attainment are of particular concern not only for their own health, but also for the short and long term health of their children. Better psychosocial attitudes towards healthy eating are known determinants of better dietary behaviours, but knowledge of local environmental factors and their interaction with individual determinants is more limited, particularly in the UK. This study addressed a gap in the literature by examining associations between the local food environment, individual factors and dietary behaviours, and determining whether these associations varied by level of educational attainment.

921 mothers with young children from Hampshire completed a cross-sectional survey about their dietary behaviours, demographic and psychosocial characteristics, and activity space locations. Novel measures characterised the in-store environment of mothers’ main food stores, density and variety of food outlets in mothers’ activity spaces, and the nutrition environment of mothers’ Sure Start Children’s Centres using observational and self-report data. A conceptual model predicting dietary behaviours of mothers with young children was tested using structural equation modelling.

The results showed that the in-store environment of mothers’ main food stores was indirectly associated with dietary behaviour through psychological and perceived food affordability factors, with the latter a more important predictor among mothers with low educational attainment. The dietary behaviours of mothers with low educational attainment tended to vary in accordance with the quality of the environments they were exposed to. In contrast, the dietary quality of mothers with higher educational attainment showed less susceptibility to poorer local food environment exposures.

These findings suggest that a multi-component intervention to improve the in-store environment of the least healthful supermarkets and mothers’ psychological and cost-related attitudes towards healthy eating could enhance the dietary behaviours of mothers and their families, particularly if the most disadvantaged families are targeted.

University of Southampton
Vogel, Christina Augusta
768f1dcd-2697-4aae-95cc-ee2f6d63dff5
Vogel, Christina Augusta
768f1dcd-2697-4aae-95cc-ee2f6d63dff5
Baird, Janis
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Vogel, Christina Augusta (2014) The relative association between the local food environment, psychosocial factors and dietary inequalities among mothers in Hampshire. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The poor dietary behaviours of mothers with low educational attainment are of particular concern not only for their own health, but also for the short and long term health of their children. Better psychosocial attitudes towards healthy eating are known determinants of better dietary behaviours, but knowledge of local environmental factors and their interaction with individual determinants is more limited, particularly in the UK. This study addressed a gap in the literature by examining associations between the local food environment, individual factors and dietary behaviours, and determining whether these associations varied by level of educational attainment.

921 mothers with young children from Hampshire completed a cross-sectional survey about their dietary behaviours, demographic and psychosocial characteristics, and activity space locations. Novel measures characterised the in-store environment of mothers’ main food stores, density and variety of food outlets in mothers’ activity spaces, and the nutrition environment of mothers’ Sure Start Children’s Centres using observational and self-report data. A conceptual model predicting dietary behaviours of mothers with young children was tested using structural equation modelling.

The results showed that the in-store environment of mothers’ main food stores was indirectly associated with dietary behaviour through psychological and perceived food affordability factors, with the latter a more important predictor among mothers with low educational attainment. The dietary behaviours of mothers with low educational attainment tended to vary in accordance with the quality of the environments they were exposed to. In contrast, the dietary quality of mothers with higher educational attainment showed less susceptibility to poorer local food environment exposures.

These findings suggest that a multi-component intervention to improve the in-store environment of the least healthful supermarkets and mothers’ psychological and cost-related attitudes towards healthy eating could enhance the dietary behaviours of mothers and their families, particularly if the most disadvantaged families are targeted.

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Published date: September 2014

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 415833
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/415833
PURE UUID: 1419319d-7b63-4018-95fd-e4434f9f8719
ORCID for Janis Baird: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4039-4361

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Nov 2017 17:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:45

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