Fathers are more likely to be referred for nutrition or exercise counseling

Overweight and obese men who are fathers were more likely than men without children to be referred for nutrition or exercise counseling, according to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior


Philadelphia, July 6, 2020

Fatherhood status has been linked to medical providers’ weight-related practices or counseling referrals. A new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, published by Elsevier, found that overweight and obese men who are fathers were more likely than men without children to be referred for nutrition or exercise counseling.

Researchers from the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing studied 2,562 men visiting their medical provider for both routine and sick visits. This study corroborates other researchers’ findings that only 20 percent to 40 percent of obese patients report receiving nutrition or weight loss counseling.

“There’s more research showing that fathers play a central role in child development but also in their weight-related health outcomes,” said lead study author Alicia Boykin, MD, MS, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. “It’s critical to address healthy diets and physical activity among men who are already fathers, but also among men who may become fathers soon in the future.”

As previous research has shown, fathers’ commitment to their children has increased as evidenced by the increased time (doubled) that fathers spend on a child’s care. Researchers have documented that fathers are more committed to weight programs that enable them to support their children (and families) and focus on child health and well-being rather than solely on their own health. “Men are willing to make positive changes during fatherhood and the results may suggest that providers are capitalizing on this time,” Dr. Boykin said.

This study furthers a general understanding of weight-related practices and management during clinic visits for men, in general, and fathers, in particular.

“I think that given the link between paternal obesity and child obesity, providers have a great opportunity to positively influence family outcomes, so not just the health outcomes for their patients, but also the health outcomes for their patients’ children. The next step would include understanding adult provider motivators for referring, but also understanding the type of interventions that providers refer fathers to for nutrition and exercise counseling.”

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Notes for editors
The article is "Investigating the Relationship Between Fatherhood and Provider Weight-Related Practices and Counseling in Clinical Settings," by Alicia Boykin, MD, MS; Jill Demirci, PhD, RN; and Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2020.03.002). It appears in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, volume 52, issue 7 (July 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 Alicia Boykin, MD, MS, at adb144@pitt.edu.

An audio podcast featuring an interview with Alicia Boykin and other information for journalists are available at www.jneb.org/content/mediapodcast. 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