Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Intergenerational food habits:

An intergenerational link in dietary habits suggests that grandparents may be more influential in food habits than parents.
By Motherpedia
Date: January 06 2014
Editor Rating:

A new study that shows a strong link in dietary habits between generations could have valuable benefits for community health.

The study, led by Emeritus Professor Mark Wahlqvist from Monash University’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine and the Monash Asia Institute, examined national health and nutrition information for more than 2,400 students from 6-13 years and nearly 1,800 elderly relatives in Taiwan

The study assessed the relationship between the quality of the childrens’ diets and that of their elders in a wide range of representative communities, generating findings that have international relevance. 

“The children who scored highest on dietary quality showed a correlation with high dietary scores among their respective elders,” Professor Wahlqvist said. 

“Factors such as the level of household income and parental education and the amount of time children spend watching television were all found to be significant determinants of dietary quality in children,” Professor Wahlqvist said. 

When the overall findings were adjusted for these aspects, the quality of elders’ diets was still significantly associated with that of young people’s. 

The researchers believe grandparents may be even more likely than parents to influence food habits. 

“It is likely that the grandparent generation is transmitting what the cultural group has acquired over several generations, modulated by their children and grandchildren,” Professor Wahlqvist said. 

The research also raised the possibility that the association works both ways, with children’s familiarity with information technology, for example, boosting their influence over their elders.  

Given the links between diet and health issues such as obesity and longevity, the intergenerational associations are very relevant, Professor Wahlqvist said. 

“Our findings suggest that a decline in nutritional capacity in communities, represented by intergenerational transfer of food patterns, may place community health at risk. At the same time, the observations suggest that intervening with healthy eating measures in one generation may benefit other generations as well.” 

The study was published in the Ecology of Food and Nutrition journal in December.

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Related Articles
The perfect summer lunch or evening entree - made even…
Read more
This Cranberry Mint Holiday Punch is especially for kids who…
Read more
Call for governments to implement sponsorship guidelines as 1-in-4 Aussie…
Read more
Where you live is big determinant of life expectancy and…
Read more
Cry babies

Dry your eyes!
The newest additions are on their way from the Babies who cry real tears!


Latest Tech Used In Shipping Containers
Read how the shipping industry has revolutionised

Motherpedia cover-2

Win 1 set of a 4-book hardcover illustrated boxed set
Barbara Murray’s new 4-book Sound Stories is perfect for parents and educators and could assist with NAPLAN results

Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Moonlight lifestyle

Moonlight Cinema to bring…
Moonlight Cinema announces brand new Western Sydney venue

Screen shot 2019-11-26 at 8.29.12 am

Your Magical Christmas Wonderland…
Adventure park is about to light up the night sky with its "Christmas Festival of Lights"

Screen shot 2019-11-21 at 11.11.36 am

The Preston Market Gets…
It's time to feel pumped up for the holiday season!


Bunnings team members get…
Help raise funds by buying a snag or donating at your local store.