Parent and child reports of fruit and vegetable intakes and related family environmental factors show low levels of agreement

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Abstract

Objective

The purpose of the present study was to determine the level of agreement between child and parent reports of 9- to 10-year-old children's consumption of fruit and vegetables and potential family–environmental determinants.

Methods

Schoolchildren and their parents completed parallel questionnaires at baseline and at follow-up (1 year later) about usual fruit and vegetable consumption of the child, potential determinants and general demographics. Matched child–parent couples were included in the analyses (baseline = 380; follow-up = 307). To assess the level of agreement between child and parent reports at both points in time, dependent-sample t-test, correlation coefficients, weighted Cohen's kappa coefficients and Bland–Altman plots including limits of agreement were used.

Results

Both at baseline and at follow-up, the mean intake of fruit and vegetable reported by the children were significantly higher than reported by their parents, but differences were smaller at follow-up. Correlation coefficients between child and parent reports (0.28–0.43) and weighted Cohen's kappa coefficients (0.25–0.28) were weak to moderate. Limits of agreement were wide.

Conclusion

The agreement between parent and child reports is weak to moderate and may depend on the age of the child. Fourth graders may overestimate their own intake of fruit and vegetables.

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