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Impact of childhood experience and adult well-being on eating preferences and behaviours

Russell, SJ, Hughes, K and Bellis, MA (2016) Impact of childhood experience and adult well-being on eating preferences and behaviours. BMJ OPEN, 6 (1). ISSN 2044-6055

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Objectives: To examine the relative contribution of childhood experience, measured by childhood violence and childhood happiness, and adult well-being on adult eating preferences and behaviours, independent of proximal factors such as current deprivation.
Design: A cross-sectional, stratified, randomised sample survey using retrospective measures of childhood violence and happiness and self-reported measures of current well-being.
Setting: The North West Region of England between September 2012 and March 2013.
Participants: Individuals aged 18–95-year-olds from randomly selected households (participation was successful for 90% of eligible households and 78% of the total visited addresses; n=11 243).
Outcomes: Dichotomised measures for preference of healthy foods or ‘feel good’ foods and low or high daily fruit and vegetable consumption.
Results: After correcting for demographics, combined categories for childhood experience and dichotomised measures of adult well-being were found to be significantly related to adult food preferences and eating behaviours. Participants with unhappy and violent childhoods compared to those with happy and non-violent childhoods had adjusted ORs (95% CI, significance) of 2.67 (2.15 to 3.06, p<0.001) of having low daily fruit and vegetable intake (two or less portions) and 1.53 (1.29 to 1.81, p<0.001) of choosing ‘feel good’ foods over foods which were good for their long term health.
Conclusions: Daily intake of fruit and vegetables, linked to non-communicable diseases, and preference for ‘feel good’ foods, linked to obesity, are affected by childhood experience and adult well-being independent of demographic factors. Preventative interventions which support parent–child relationships and improve childhood experience are likely to reduce the development of poor dietary and other health-risk behaviours.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Science & Technology; Life Sciences & Biomedicine; Medicine, General & Internal; General & Internal Medicine; VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION; HEALTH-PROBLEMS; LIFE-STYLE; OBESITY; RISK; ABUSE; FRUIT; NEUROBIOLOGY; DEPRIVATION; DEPRESSION
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
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Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2016 11:09
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 12:33
DOI or ID number: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-007770
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4100
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