by Dr. Meenakshy Varier on  August 6, 2020 at 3:47 PM Research News
Children’s Pester Power Can Have a Positive Influence at Home
Children's pester power may contribute to improvements in their family environments in terms of their food consumption and parenting practices. Pester power is the influence that children have over their family's eating behaviors in terms of shopping, the menu they decide on, or recipes they make.

A new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior published by Elsevier, highlights the potential for children to influence food consumption and habits at home.

Researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Louisiana Tech University studied classrooms that delivered weekly Together, We Inspire Healthy Eating (WISE) lessons at seven Head Start sites across two states in the southern United States. The study demonstrated that children's pester power explained a significant portion of the variance in the residual change of children's dietary intake and parenting practices after one school year of exposure to the WISE intervention.

"The more pester power that parents were exposed to from their children, the greater we saw changes in the desired direction for intake of fruits and vegetables and also supportive parenting practices," said lead study author Taren Swindle, PhD, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA. "It means that children's influence on their homes may be an underdeveloped potential target for future interventions."

The pester power of children is well documented in marketing and advertising research and is increasingly being considered in regard to the nutritional habits and obesogenic environments of children. Future studies can provide insight into which components of educational programs specifically predict successful pester power.

"I like to think of this as hypothesis-generating work. It suggests a really promising area for future exploration," Prof. Swindle said.

Source: Eurekalert

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