Associations of Food Allergy-Related Dietary Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Among Caregivers of Black and White Children With Food Allergy

Eileen Vincent*, Lucy A. Bilaver, Jamie L. Fierstein, Neil Thivalapill, Andrea A. Pappalardo, Amaziah Coleman, Adam Robinson, Hemant P. Sharma, Audrey Brewer, Amal H. Assa'ad, Jialing Jiang, Haley W. Hultquist, Ashwin J. Kulkarni, Johnathan Choi, Mahboobeh Mahdavinia, Jacqueline Pongracic, Mary C. Tobin, Christopher Warren, Ruchi S. Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The increasing prevalence of pediatric food allergy (FA) in the United States has disproportionately affected non-Hispanic Black youth. However, racial and other socioeconomic disparities in FA management among caregivers of children with FA remain unclear. Objective: To determine associations between socioeconomic, clinical, and health care factors and FA-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among caregivers of Black and White children with FA. Design: Cross-sectional survey analysis from the Food Allergy Outcomes Related to White and African American Racial Differences Study. Participants/settings: Longitudinal cohort of caregivers of 385 Black and White children with FA ages birth to 12 years residing in Chicago, Illinois, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Washington, DC from 2017 to March 2021. Main outcome measures: There were 3 primary outcomes of interest: (1) FA knowledge assessed by scores from the Knowledge Survey, (2) FA-related attitudes assessed by newly developed survey, and (3) food-related behaviors assessed by the FORWARD Diet and Purchasing Habit Surveys completed 6 months postenrollment. Analyses: Multivariable linear and logistic regression. Results: The overall response rate to the 6-month postenrollment survey was 51.3% (385 of 751). White caregivers represented 69.4% of the participants. Black race was associated with a 1.5-point mean decrease in FA knowledge score (95% CI: −2.2 to −0.7) compared with White caregivers, and a graduate degree or bachelor's degree was associated with associated with a 1.7-point mean increase (95% CI: 0.8-2.7) and 1.1-point mean increase (95% CI: 0.2-2.0) in FA knowledge score, respectively, compared with caregivers who had less than a bachelor's degree. Multiple FAs and ever visited the emergency department for a food-related allergic reaction were also associated with higher levels of FA knowledge. Ever visited the emergency department for FA was also associated with higher odds of 2 measures of FA attitudes reflecting parental anxiety. Greater FA knowledge scores were consistently associated with lower odds of several FA-related food purchasing and eating behaviors assumed to have elevated risk of FA. Eating food prepared at school was the only FA behavior associated with race. Compared with White children, Black children were 2.5 times more likely to eat school-prepared foods (95% CI: 1.2-5.6). Conclusions: Findings from this study identified socioeconomic, racial, and clinical factors associated with caregivers’ FA-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, but further research is warranted to better understand these relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-810
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Attitudes
  • Behaviors
  • Dietary knowledge
  • Food allergy
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Associations of Food Allergy-Related Dietary Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Among Caregivers of Black and White Children With Food Allergy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this