Children’s pester power a future target for interventions

Children’s influence on their homes may be an underdeveloped potential target for future interventions, according to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior


Philadelphia, August 6, 2020

Children’s pester power may contribute to improvements in their family’s food environments. A new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, published by Elsevier, highlights the potential for children to influence food consumption and habits at home.

Researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Louisiana Tech University studied classrooms that delivered weekly Together, We Inspire Healthy Eating (WISE) lessons at seven Head Start sites across two states in the southern United States. The study demonstrated that children’s pester power explained a significant portion of the variance in the residual change of children’s dietary intake and parenting practices after one school year of exposure to the WISE intervention.

“The more pester power that parents were exposed to from their children, the greater we saw changes in the desired direction for intake of fruits and vegetables and also supportive parenting practices,” said lead study author Taren Swindle, PhD, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA. “It means that children’s influence on their homes may be an underdeveloped potential target for future interventions.”

The pester power of children is well documented in marketing and advertising research and is increasingly being considered in regard to the nutritional habits and obesogenic environments of children. Future studies can provide insight into which components of educational programs specifically predict successful pester power.

“I like to think of this as hypothesis-generating work. It suggests a really promising area for future exploration,” Prof. Swindle said.

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Notes for editors
The article is "Pester Power: Examining Children’s Influence as an Active Intervention Ingredient," by Taren Swindle, PhD, Nichole McBride, MPH, Audra Staley, BS, Collin Phillips, BS, Julie M. Rutledge, PhD, Janna R. Martin, BSBA, and Leanne Whiteside-Mansell, EdD (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2020.06.002). It appears in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, volume 52, issue 8 (August 2020), published by Elsevier.

Full text of the article is available to credentialed journalists upon request; contact Eileen Leahy at +1 732 238 3628 or jnebmedia@elsevier.com to obtain a copy. To schedule an interview with the author(s), please contact Taren Swindle, PhD, at tswindle@uams.edu.

An audio podcast featuring an interview with Taren Swindle and other information for journalists are available at www.jneb.org/content/media. Excerpts from the podcast may be reproduced by the media with permission from Eileen Leahy.

About the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (JNEB)
The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (JNEB), the official journal of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB), is a refereed, scientific periodical that serves as a resource for all professionals with an interest in nutrition education and dietary/physical activity behaviors. The purpose of JNEB is to document and disseminate original research, emerging issues, and practices relevant to nutrition education and behavior worldwide and to promote healthy, sustainable food choices. It supports the society’s efforts to disseminate innovative nutrition education strategies, and communicate information on food, nutrition, and health issues to students, professionals, policy makers, targeted audiences, and the public.

The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior features articles that provide new insights and useful findings related to nutrition education research, practice, and policy. The content areas of JNEB reflect the diverse interests of health, nutrition, education, Cooperative Extension, and other professionals working in areas related to nutrition education and behavior. As the Society's official journal, JNEB also includes occasional policy statements, issue perspectives, and member communications. www.jneb.org

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we’re committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.elsevier.com

Media contact
Eileen Leahy
Elsevier
+1 732 238 3628
jnebmedia@elsevier.com