Opportunities for healthier child feeding. Does ethnic position matter? self-reported evaluation of family diet and impediments to change among parents with majority and minority status in Denmark

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Fulltext

    Accepted author manuscript, 414 KB, PDF document

Health inequality between ethnic groups is expressed in differences in the prevalence of diet related diseases. The aim of the study was to investigate and compare barriers toward eating healthier among ethnic majority and minority parents in Denmark. A postal survey was carried out among 2511 parents with either Danish or non-western ethnic minority descendant background, investigating barriers on cultural, structural, social, individual, and practical levels. The results showed that compared with parents of Danish origin, ethnic minority parents were more likely to evaluate their own diets negatively (OR 3.0, CI 1.7–5.3), and to evaluate their children's diets negatively (OR 4.6, CI 2.5–8.4). In addition, ethnic minority parents to a higher degree experienced barriers to eating healthier than Danish parents did. Most salient was ethnic minority parents’ expression of a lack of control over their own food intake and the food given to their children in everyday life. Such a lack of control was identified on practical, social, structural and individual levels. Young age of the parents was found to explain some of the differences between ethnic groups. It is concluded that dietary interventions directed at parents of small children should address not only cultural background but also barriers operating on practical, social, structural, and individual levels, as some of these influence ethnic minorities and the majority population differently. Further exploration of the importance of young age and the interplay between structural and cultural factors in the lives of ethnic minority families is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ID: 105343984