Family Mealtime Communication in Single- and Dual-Headed Households Among Hispanic Adolescents With Overweight and Obesity

Cynthia N. Lebron, Yaray Agosto, Tae K. Lee, Guillermo Prado, Sara M.St George, Hilda Pantin, Sarah E. Messiah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the association of adolescent self-report of family mealtime communication on obesity-related behaviors in single- and dual-parent households and by sex in a sample of overweight and obese Hispanic adolescents. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of a randomized control trial Setting: Eighteen middle schools in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Participants: Two-hundred and eighty Hispanic seventh- and eighth-grade students Main Outcome Measures: Physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake, and added sugar intake. Analysis: Structural equation modeling. Results: The findings indicate that mealtime communication was associated with fruit and vegetable consumption in boys (β = .30; P = .001; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52–2.68) and physical activity in girls (β = .26; P = .010; 95% CI, 0.16–1.30). Moreover, a single-parent household was associated with dietary consumption in boys (fruit and vegetable intake [β= .18; P = .039; 95% CI, 0.02–2.60] but had a moderating effect on fruit and vegetable consumption in girls (β = .21; P = .015; 95% CI, 0.14–2.19). Conclusions and Implications: Family mealtime communication may impact dietary and physical activity outcomes in Hispanic adolescents with overweight and obesity, but differentially across gender and household parent makeup. These findings, together with the prevalence of single parents, point to the importance of targeting Hispanic single parents as agents of change to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors in their children via positive mealtime interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Hispanic
  • communication
  • family mealtime
  • obesity
  • single-parent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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