Parenting styles and the dietary intake of pre-school children: a systematic review
Burnett, A. J., Lamb, K. E., McCann, J., Worsley, A., and Lacy, K. E.
Objective: The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity has been increasing globally, with poor diet a key contributor. Parents play an influential role over the food intake of young children. This review explores whether parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and disengaged) or parenting dimensions (warmth and control) are associated with pre-school children's dietary intake.Design: Following the PRISMA guidelines, a systematic search of six electronic databases was conducted. Included articles were based on children aged 2-5 years and reported associations between parenting styles or dimensions and children's food intake. Two independent reviewers extracted the data and assessed the quality of the articles.Main outcome measures: Pre-school children's dietary intake.Results: Seven articles met the inclusion criteria. Six of the seven articles found evidence of at least one association between parenting styles or parenting dimensions and children's dietary intake. Several different measurement tools were used to identify parenting styles (n = 3) and dietary intake (n = 6), with reliability and validity reported in varying ways. The quality score of the articles ranged from 33% to 58%.Conclusion: Overall, an authoritative parenting style or higher levels of warmth appear to be associated with healthier dietary intakes among pre-school children.