Background: Better diet quality of preschool children is associated with many important health outcomes, but there is significant room for improvement in many children’s dietary intakes. The determinants of children’s dietary intakes are complex and whole systems approaches may be effective tools for changing dietary intake. Collation of all the evidence available on determinants of preschool children’s dietary intake is necessary to ‘map’ the whole system of influence. Therefore, this systematic scoping review of available literature on determinants of dietary intakes in preschool children was undertaken. Methods: The Joanna Briggs Institute methods for conducting a systematic scoping review were followed. Articles published since 2000 which assessed influences on the dietary intakes of preschool children were identified, yielding a total of 246 papers. Studies of children with clinical conditions (excluding obesity), or those conducted in middle and low-income countries were excluded, due to the different systems of influence in these populations. Data were extracted and information synthesised based on ecological level (child, parent, household, childcare, or wider determinants). Results: Most articles focused on influences at the parental level (n = 118, 48%), followed by those at the child level (n = 73, 30%). Most of the studies were of cross-sectional design (n = 109, 44%). Whilst many studies considered influences at multiple ecological levels (n = 63, 26%) few analyses determined interactions between factors in their relationship with children’s dietary intakes, which is needed going forward using systems methods. Conclusion: A wealth of evidence exists examining influences on the dietary intakes of preschool children and this information would benefit from analysis using a systems thinking approach in order to assess effective levers for intervention and what works, for whom, under what circumstances.
|Journal||International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Feb 2022|
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- Ecological systems theory
- Preschool children
- Scoping review