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A longitudinal study of the dietary practices of black and white girls 9 and 10 years old at enrollment: the NHLBI Growth and Health Study






Journal of Adolescent Health 20(1): 27-37

A longitudinal study of the dietary practices of black and white girls 9 and 10 years old at enrollment: the NHLBI Growth and Health Study

This investigation was part of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Growth and Health Study; a longitudinal study of preadolescent girls designed to examine the factors associated with development of obesity, and its later effects on cardiovascular risk factors. 1213 black and 1166 white girls (9-10 years old) were recruited at clinical sites in Berkeley, California; Cincinnati, Ohio and Washington, DC, USA. The frequency with which they engaged in eating practices commonly targeted for modification in weight reduction programmes was determined. Racial differences were examined in 11 "weight-related" eating practices such as eating with television, eating while doing homework and missing meals. Multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted for each of the dependent variables. Black girls were more than twice as likely as white girls to frequently engage in the targeted weight-related eating practices. The odds of a girl frequently engaging in most of these eating practices decreased with an increase in parents' income and education level. However, even when controlling for socioeconomic and demographic effects, black girls remained more likely to engage in these eating practices than white girls. For most of the behaviours, girls who frequently practiced a behaviour had higher energy intakes compared to those who practiced it infrequently. It is concluded that early education programmes may be necessary to promote good eating habits. Since it appears that black girls have a higher risk of developing adverse weight-related eating practices, culturally appropriate education materials may be required.

Accession: 002738081

PMID: 9007656

DOI: 10.1016/S1054-139X(96)00176-0

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