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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 285-291

Association of maternal food choices with caries status and sugar consumption among preschool children in Vikarabad town

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sri Sai College of Dental Surgery, Vikarabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Kistigari Poornima
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sri Sai College of Dental Surgery, Vikarabad - 501 101, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2319-5932.165276

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Introduction: Children choose sweet, energy dense foods in preference to more nutritious options. Despite being aware about healthy food, mothers regularly purchase, prepare and allow their children to eat unhealthy food. Aims: To explore the association between the knowledge of mothers of preschool children about making food choices and oral health of their children and to assess the association with their children's sugar consumption and caries status. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 358 mother and child pairs from preschools and Anganwadi centers in the Vikarabad town of Ranga Reddy district in Telangana using simple random sampling. Data were collected using a questionnaire filled by their mothers who gathered their views on choices about food; a 3-day diet chart and clinical assessment of the children's caries status. Chi-square, t-test and ANOVA were used. Results: Majority of mothers were motivated by their child's preferences (51%), availability and accessibility of food products (19%) and affordability (15%) when making food choices for their children. Though, mothers had a favorable knowledge regarding food choices for their children and about oral health, it was not found to be associated with caries status of their children. However, the association between the sweet scores of the children and their caries status was significant. Conclusion:Though the mothers had favorable knowledge about providing healthy foods to their children, it did not reflect in their behavior when choosing foods. Higher sugar consumption of the children was associated with more dental caries.

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