A Cross-Sectional Study on the Relationship between the Family Nutrition Climate and Children's Nutrition Behavior

Sacha Verjans-Janssen*, Dave Van Kann, Stef Kremers, Steven Vos, Maria Jansen, Sanne Gerards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Parents influence their children's nutrition behavior. The relationship between parental influences and children's nutrition behavior is often studied with a focus on the dyadic interaction between the parent and the child. However, parents and children are part of a broader system: the family. We investigated the relationship between the family nutrition climate (FNC), a family-level concept, and children's nutrition behavior. Methods: Parents of primary school-aged children (N = 229) filled in the validated family nutrition climate (FNC) scale. This scale measures the families' view on the consumption of healthy nutrition, consisting of four different concepts: value, communication, cohesion, and consensus. Parents also reported their children's nutrition behavior (i.e., fruit, vegetable, water, candy, savory snack, and soda consumption). Multivariate linear regression analyses, correcting for potential confounders, were used to assess the relationship between the FNC scale (FNC-Total; model 1) and the different FNC subscales (model 2) and the child's nutrition behavior. Results: FNC-Total was positively related to fruit and vegetable intake and negatively related to soda consumption. FNC-value was a significant predictor of vegetable (positive) and candy intake (negative), and FNC-communication was a significant predictor of soda consumption (negative). FNC-communication, FNC-cohesion, and FNC-consensus were significant predictors (positive, positive, and negative, respectively) of water consumption. Conclusions: The FNC is related to children's nutrition behavior and especially to the consumption of healthy nutrition. These results imply the importance of taking the family-level influence into account when studying the influence of parents on children's nutrition behavior. Trial registration: Dutch Trial Register NTR6716 (registration date 27 June 2017, retrospectively registered), METC163027, NL58554.068.16, Fonds NutsOhra project number 101.253.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2344
Number of pages14
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2019


  • family
  • parents
  • health
  • nutrition
  • children
  • MEAL

Cite this