Inducing preschool children's emotional eating: relations with parental feeding practices.

School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.5). 08/2010; 92(2):359-65. DOI:10.3945/ajcn.2010.29375
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Children's emotional eating is related to greater body mass index and a less-healthy diet, but little is known about the early development of this behavior.
This study aimed to examine the relations between preschool children's emotional eating and parental feeding practices by using experimental manipulation of child mood and food intake in a laboratory setting.
Twenty-five 3-5-y-old children and their mothers sat together and ate a standard meal to satiety. Mothers completed questionnaires regarding their feeding practices. Children were assigned to a control or negative mood condition, and their consumption of snack foods in the absence of hunger was measured.
Children whose mothers often used food to regulate emotions ate more cookies in the absence of hunger than did children whose mothers used this feeding practice infrequently, regardless of condition. Children whose mothers often used food for emotion regulation purposes ate more chocolate in the experimental condition than in the control condition. The pattern was reversed for children of mothers who did not tend to use food for emotion regulation. There were no significant effects of maternal use of restriction, pressure to eat, and use of foods as a reward on children's snack food consumption. Conclusions: Children of mothers who use food for emotion regulation consume more sweet palatable foods in the absence of hunger than do children of mothers who use this feeding practice infrequently. Emotional overeating behavior may occur in the context of negative mood in children whose mothers use food for emotion regulation purposes. This trial was registered at as NCT01122290.

0 0
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Staggering health implications are associated with poor child diet. Given the importance of parents in impacting children's eating outcomes, the current study examined a theoretical framework in which both parental feeding goals and practices impact specific healthy and unhealthy child eating behaviors. Participants were 171 mothers of 3-6 year old children who were diverse both socioeconomically and with regard to BMI. Mothers completed questionnaires via Mechanical Turk, an online workforce through Structural Equation Modeling showed an adequate model fit in which Negative Feeding Practices (e.g., using food as a reward) mediated the relationship between Health-related Feeding Goals (i.e., feeding children with health-oriented goals in mind) and Negative Eating Behaviors (e.g., consumption of candy and snacks). However, Negative Feeding Practices did not mediate the relationship between Health-related Feeding Goals and Positive Eating Behaviors (i.e., fruits and vegetables). These findings suggest the important role of habitual food parenting practices in children's eating and have implications for parental health education programs.
    Appetite 11/2013; · 2.54 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Within-person changes in estradiol and progesterone predict changes in binge eating tendencies across the menstrual cycle. However, all women have menstrual-cycle fluctuations in hormones, but few experience binge eating. Personality traits may be critical individual difference factors that influence who will engage in emotional eating in the presence of a vulnerable hormonal environment. Women (N=239) provided self-reports of emotional eating and saliva samples for hormone measurement for 45 consecutive days. Negative urgency and negative emotionality were measured once and were examined as moderators of hormone-emotional eating associations. Consistent with prior research, within-person changes in the interaction between estradiol and progesterone predicted emotional eating. Neither negative urgency nor negative emotionality interacted with changes in estradiol and progesterone to predict changes in emotional eating. Additional factors, other than the two personality traits examined, may account for individual differences in within-person associations between hormones and emotional eating.
    Eating behaviors 04/2013; 14(2):161-6.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nearly 40% of US children are overweight or obese. We propose that a cell-to-society integrative approach is needed that takes into account biology, early child development, home and childcare environments, and public policy. This approach requires researchers, families, and policy makers to work together to develop preventative strategies and interventions that benefit the nutrition and wellbeing of young children and their families, and ultimately the health of the nation.
    Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 04/2013; · 8.90 Impact Factor