Association of parental food choice motives, attitudes, and sugar exposure in the diet with early childhood caries: Case-control study

Anwesha Samaddar, Suprabha Shrikrishna, Aastha Moza, Ramya Shenoy

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Parents can affect their children's diet by making some food components more accessible. Food choice motives and attitudes of the parents toward sugary food may influence children's diet. Aims: The aim of the study is to investigate the association of parental food choice motives, attitudes toward sugar consumption, and dietary sugar exposure with early childhood caries (ECC). Settings and Design: This case-control study involved 200 children, aged 3-5 years with an equal number of cases (with ECC) and controls (without ECC), based on the WHO-decay-missing-filled teeth index criteria for dental caries. Materials and Methods: The data for parental food choice motives and attitudes toward sugar consumption were obtained using questionnaire answered by their parents, and the dietary sugar exposure was calculated using a 24 h diet chart. Data were analyzed with multiple logistic regression. Results: Most parents (99.5%) considered 'maintaining health and nutrition' as an important criterion, above 85% parents thought 'mood of the child,' 'child likes and dislikes,' 'sensory appeal of the food item,' 'natural foods,' 'quality of the food,' and 'weight control' criteria important while selecting food items, with no significant difference between cases and controls. About 61% of the cases considered buying food based on convenience is important, as compared to 47% controls, and the difference was significant. Cases and controls did not differ in attitudes toward sugar consumption. Sugar exposure was significantly higher among the cases. Conclusion: High dietary sugar exposure is associated with ECC. Parents of children with ECC are likely to buy foods for their children based on convenience and availability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-04-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)


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