The Young and Adolescents: Initiating Change in Children’s Eating Behavior

  • Tom Baranowski
  • Teresia O’Connor
  • Janice Baranowski


Limited success in existing interventions for initiating dietary behavior change among children is forcing a more detailed analysis of how to promote change. The mediating variable model provides a conceptual framework for understanding how behavior change interventions work and integrates more basic behavior with intervention research. The mediating variable model, thereby, provides a scientific foundation for designing and evaluating dietary behavior change interventions with children. Eight variables likely provide a comprehensive set of mediating variables for initiating children’s dietary behavior change. Procedures for effectively changing each of these mediators remain to be clearly specified. A double mediating variable model provides a framework for promoting change in parenting behavior to influence child dietary behavior. The ability to advance this research requires overcoming limitations of the validity and reliability of existing measures. Item Response Modeling provides important methods for enhancing measurement of psychosocial variables. Much research remains to provide a sounder scientific foundation for research on initiating children’s dietary behavior change.


Parenting Style Parenting Practice Dietary Behavior Classical Test Theory Behavior Change Intervention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Item response modeling


Body mass index



This work is a publication of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA/ARS) Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and had been funded in part with federal funds from the USDA/ARS under Cooperative Agreement No. 58-6250-6001. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the USDA, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement from the US government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Baranowski
    • 1
  • Teresia O’Connor
  • Janice Baranowski
  1. 1.Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Department of PediatricsBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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