American Sociological Association

Gender, Socioeconomic Status, and Diet Behaviors within Brazilian Families

Existing literature documents the key role that parents play in transmitting diet behaviors to their children; however, less is known about differences by parent and child gender within families, especially with attention to household socioeconomic status (SES). We use nationally representative household data from Brazil and ask how parent-child associations of diet behavior differ by gender within lower- and higher-SES households. Results indicate that both maternal and paternal diet behaviors are associated with sons’ and daughters’ diet behaviors, but the strength of these associations differs depending on the gender of both the parent and the child. Moreover, gender differences in parent-child diet resemblance exist primarily in lower-, but not in higher-SES households. These findings are important for understanding health processes that occur within families and lead to disparities across generations, especially in a middle-income country undergoing sharp economic and nutritional changes.


Rachel Donnelly and Leticia J. Marteleto