DOI: 10.5993/ajhb.48.1.20 ISSN: 1087-3244

Associations of Chinese Mothers’ Education with Children’s Diet and Physical Activity

Ailin Mao, Yanan Li
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Health (social science)

Objectives: Children’s health has attracted much attention. The aim of this study was to examine therelationships between mothers’ education duration and children’s health behaviors in terms of diet andphysical activity (PA) and the potential mechanisms. Methods: We used data, from 6610 mother-childpairs, from the 1993-2015 China Health and Nutrition Survey. We conducted a series of ordinary leastsquares regression analyses to explore the associations of mothers’ education duration with children’shealth behaviors. We also conducted subgroup analyses and analyses of the underlying mechanisms.Results: We found that mothers’ education duration was significantly and positively associated with alldiet indicators (children’s awareness of diet guidelines and healthy diet knowledge) and PA indicators(children’s PA participation, PA duration on weekdays, and PA duration at weekends) assessed. Theseassociations may be mediated by mothers’ health opinions, health behaviors, and income. Theassociations differed by children’s gender and age, with mothers’ education duration having largerassociations for girls than boys, and the associations with PA duration differing by age. Conclusion: Ourresearch highlights the important associations of mothers’ education with children’s health behaviors.Policymakers in developing countries should pay attention to policies for promoting female education.

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