Food security and feeding behaviours in low-income, Latinx families with preschool-aged children

Byron A. Foster, Deanna Linville, Emma Rose Miller-Bedell, Hannah Mahjoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the association between food security and feeding practices in Latinx parents of pre-school-aged children and examine possible effect modification by parental self-efficacy. Design: Cross-sectional assessment using the US Department of Agriculture screener for food insecurity as the exposure and sub-scales of the Comprehensive Feeding Practices Questionnaire as the outcome with the General Self-Efficacy Scale as an effect modifier. Non-parametric descriptive statistics were used to compare groups based on food security status. Setting: Two Latinx communities with low-socioeconomic status in Texas in 2017 and in Oregon in 2018-2019. Participants: Latinx parents of preschool aged children, English and Spanish speaking. Dyads were excluded if they had moderate-severe developmental disabilities, a seizure disorder with a restrictive diet or taking medications known to influence typical growth. Results: Of the 168 families in Oregon, 65 (38 %) reported food insecurity, and 10 (21 %) of the 48 families in Texas reported food insecurity. Food security was associated with greater parental monitoring practices in both the Texas and Oregon samples. We observed no differences in creating a healthy home food environment by food security status in either sample. Parental general self-efficacy showed evidence of effect modification in Oregon - only parents with lower self-efficacy showed a significant association between food security and feeding practices. Conclusions: Latinx parents of preschool children experience high levels of food insecurity, which are associated with maladaptive parental feeding practices. Greater parental general self-efficacy moderates this association and could buffer the effects of food insecurity on children's health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3306-3311
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 5 2022


  • Children
  • Food security
  • Latino
  • Obesity
  • Parent-child relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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