Restricting children's access to palatable foods may appeal to parents as a straightforward means of promoting moderate intakes of foods high in fat and sugar; however, restricting access to palatable foods may have unintended effects on children's eating. The efficacy of restricting children's access to palatable foods as a means of promoting patterns of moderate intake of those foods is unknown.
Two experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that restricting access to a palatable food enhances children's subsequent behavioral responses to, selection of, and intake of that restricted food.
Both experiments used a within-subjects design to examine the effects of restricting access to a palatable food on children's subsequent behavior, food selection, and food intake. The first experiment examined the effects of restriction within and outside the restricted context and the second experiment focused on the effects within the restricted context.
In both experiments, restricting access to a palatable food increased children's behavioral response to that food. Experiment 2 showed that restricting access increased children's subsequent selection and intake of that food within the restricted context.
Restricting access focuses children's attention on restricted foods, while increasing their desire to obtain and consume those foods. Restricting children's access to palatable foods is not an effective means of promoting moderate intake of palatable foods and may encourage the intake of foods that should be limited in the diet.
"The laboratory assessment developed by Fisher and Birch (1999) is the gold standard for assessing EAH. Children consume a standardized meal until they reach a self-determined level of satiety before they are taken to an observation room where they are given ad libitum access to 10 pre-weighed high energy/low nutrient snack foods for ten minutes (Birch et al., 2003; Fisher & Birch, 1999; Hill et al., 2008). Although the EAH paradigm has high measurement sensitivity and internal validity , it is time consuming, costly, and loses ecologic validity as children may behave differently in a lab setting (Birch, 1998; Madowitz et al., 2014; Mallan, Nambiar, Magarey, & Daniels, 2014). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eating in the Absence of Hunger (EAH) represents a failure to self-regulate intake leading to overconsumption. Existing research on EAH has come from the clinical setting, limiting our understanding of this behavior. The purpose of this study was to describe the adaptation of the clinical EAH paradigm for preschoolers to the classroom setting and evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of measuring EAH in the classroom. The adapted protocol was implemented in childcare centers in Houston, Texas (N=4) and Phoenix, Arizona (N=2). The protocol was feasible, economical, and time efficient, eliminating previously identified barriers to administering the EAH assessment such as limited resources and the time constraint of delivering the assessment to participants individually. Implementation challenges included difficulty in choosing palatable test snacks that were in compliance with childcare center food regulations and the limited control over the meal that was administered prior to the assessment. The adapted protocol will allow for broader use of the EAH assessment and encourage researchers to incorporate the assessment into longitudinal studies in order to further our understanding of the causes and emergence of EAH.
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"In support, many researchers have reported an association between mothers' concern about their child's weight and their restrictive feeding practicesda correlation which is significant, positive in direction, and typically moderate in strength (e.g., Birch, Fisher, & Davison, 2003; Birch et al., 2001; Francis, Hofer, & Birch, 2001; May et al., 2007; Tylka, Eneli, Kroon Van Diest, & Lumeng, 2013; Webber, Hill, Cooke, Carnell, & Wardle, 2010). While restricting children's access to palatable foods may appeal to mothers as a straightforward means of controlling weight (Fisher & Birch, 1999), several longitudinal and experimental studies have found restrictive feeding to be largely counterproductive. Mothers' restrictive feeding predicted their young (age 2 years) child's increased likelihood of overeating and emotional eating a year later (Rodgers et al., 2013). "
"Similar experimental studies on food restriction and pressure by Birch and colleagues ( Birch et al . , 2003 ; Fisher & Birch , 1999 ) and experiments on the effects of social influences on the acceptance of novel food in children ( Addessi et al . , 2005 ; Blissett et al . "
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