Postpartum Teens’ Perception of the Food Environments at Home and School

Rachel G. Tabak, Corinne E. Joshu, Megan A. Clarke, Cynthia D. Schwarz, Debra L. Haire-Joshu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background. An environment that supports healthy eating is one factor to prevent obesity. However, little is known about postpartum teen’s perceptions of their home and school environments and how this relates to dietary behaviors. Purpose. This study explores the relationship between home and school environments and dietary behaviors for postpartum teens. Design. Conducted cross-sectionally during 2007-2009 across 27 states and included 889 postpartum teens enrolled in Parents as Teachers Teen Program. Data included measures of sociodemographics and perceptions of school and home food environments. A 7-day recall of snack and beverage frequency assessed dietary behaviors. Logistic regression explored associations between baseline environment measures and dietary behaviors at baseline and postintervention (approximately 5 months after baseline) for the control group. Results. Respondents reported greater access and selection (i.e., variety of choices) of healthy foods and beverages at home than school. At baseline, fruit and vegetable intake was associated with home selection (1.9, 95% confidence interval [CI: 1.3, 2.9]) and availability (1.8, 95% CI [1.3, 2.6]), sweet snack consumption was associated with selection (1.5, 95% CI [1.0, 2.1]), and total snack consumption and sugar-sweetened beverage intake were associated with selection (snack: 2.1, 95% CI [1.5, 3.0]; beverage: 1.7, 95% CI [1.2, 2.4]) and availability (snack: 2.1, 95% CI [1.4, 3.1]; beverage: 1.5, 95% CI [1.0, 2.3]). Water intake at baseline and at the postintervention for control group teens was associated with selection (1.6, 95% CI [1.1, 2.2]). No significant associations were identified between the school environment and dietary behaviors. Conclusions. Interventions should target improvements in the home environment for high-risk, postpartum teens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • adolescent health
  • community health
  • diet
  • family health
  • health behavior
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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