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IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 4207: The Mediator and/or Moderator Role of Complexity of Knowledge about Healthy Eating and Self-Regulated Behavior on the Relation between Family’s Income and Children’s Obesity

30 Oct 2019

IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 4207: The Mediator and/or Moderator Role of Complexity of Knowledge about Healthy Eating and Self-Regulated Behavior on the Relation between Family’s Income and Children’s Obesity

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph16214207

Authors:
Beatriz Pereira
Pedro Rosário
Cátia Silva
Gabriela Figueiredo
José Carlos Núñez
Paula Magalhães

Childhood obesity rates have been increasing over the years and is considered one of the most serious public health problems of the century. Low socioeconomic status has been associated with a higher body mass index. However, the pathways underlying this complex relationship are poorly understood. This study aimed to evaluate the possible mediation and/or moderation effects of complexity of knowledge about healthy eating, and self-regulation processes towards healthy eating, in the association between family’s income and weight of elementary school age children. The results showed that complexity of knowledge does not mediate the relationship between socioeconomic status and weight. Still, whenever the levels of complexity of knowledge and self-regulation are high, there is a moderation effect of complexity of knowledge on the relationship between family’s income and weight, conditioned by self-regulation scores. These promising findings support the idea that knowledge about healthy eating in isolation could be insufficient for practicing a healthy diet and underline the relevance of combining transmission of knowledge with training in specific competences (e.g., self-regulation strategies). Considering that complexity of knowledge about healthy eating and self-regulation strategies are interrelated and can be both improved, future preventive interventions could consider incorporating both in their design to mitigate childhood obesity.

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