Does child weight influence how mothers report their feeding practices?

School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough University , Loughborough, Leicestershire , UK.
International journal of pediatric obesity: IJPO: an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity (Impact Factor: 3.03). 08/2011; 6(3-4):306-13. DOI: 10.3109/17477166.2011.575160
Source: PubMed


The present study aimed to ascertain whether parental reports of their feeding practices are associated with independent observations of these behaviours, and whether the reliability of maternal report depends upon the child's weight.
A total of 56 mothers and their children ate a lunch to satiety which was videotaped and coded for maternal use of control during feeding. Mothers also completed questionnaires about their feeding practices and children were weighed and measured.
Maternal reports of controlling feeding practices were poorly related to independent observations of these behaviours in the laboratory. However, there was a significant interaction between child BMI z score and observed pressure to eat in predicting maternally reported pressure to eat. There was also a significant interaction between child BMI z score and observed maternal restriction with food in predicting maternally reported restriction. When decomposed, these interactions suggested that only mothers of relatively underweight children were accurate at reporting their use of pressure to eat when compared to independent observations. For mothers of relatively overweight children there was a significant negative relationship between observed and reported restriction over food.
Overall there was poor correspondence between maternal reports and independent observations of the use of controlling feeding practices. Further research is needed to replicate these findings and to ascertain whether parents who are inaccurate at reporting their use of these feeding practices are unaware that they are using controlling feeding practices or whether they are responding in socially desirable ways to questionnaires assessing their feeding behaviour.

1 Follower
14 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To examine (1) accuracy of maternal perceptions of toddler body size; (2) factors associated with accuracy of toddler body size; and (3) how maternal satisfaction relates to accuracy/toddler body size. Cross-sectional. Low-income community sample from suburban Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)/urban pediatric clinics. Two hundred eighty-one mother-toddler dyads (toddlers: 54.1% male; mean age, 20.2 months; 70.8% African American; 8.5% underweight [<15th weight-for-length percentile]; and 29.2% overweight [≥85th weight-for-length percentile]). Measured anthropometry (mother/toddler) and demographics. Validated toddler silhouette scale (accuracy and satisfaction). Nearly 70% of mothers were inaccurate in assessing their toddler's body size. Compared with mothers of healthy-weight toddlers, mothers of underweight toddlers were 9.13 times more likely to be accurate (95% CI, 2.94-28.36) and mothers of overweight toddlers were 87% less likely to be accurate (95% CI, 0.05-0.33); accuracy did not differ by toddler age, sex, or race or mother's education or weight status. More than 70% of all mothers and 81.7% of mothers of overweight toddlers were satisfied with their toddler's body size. Accurate mothers of underweight toddlers were less likely to be satisfied than accurate mothers of healthy-weight toddlers (30.0% vs 76.8%; P < .001). Mothers of overweight toddlers had inaccurate perceptions of their toddler's body size and were highly satisfied, suggesting a view of heavy toddlers as normative. Mothers of underweight toddlers had accurate perceptions yet were dissatisfied, suggesting recognition of their child as outside the norm. Because inaccurate perceptions begin early in toddlerhood, pediatric providers should help improve families' understanding of healthy body size. Future studies should examine how satisfaction and accuracy relate to parenting behaviors.
    JAMA Pediatrics 05/2012; 166(5):417-22. DOI:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.1900 · 5.73 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Maternal depression can impair parenting practices and has been linked with less sensitive feeding interactions with children, but existing research is based on self-reports of feeding practices. This study examined relationships between maternal self-reported symptoms of depression with observations of mothers' child feeding practices during a mealtime. Fifty-eight mothers of 3- and 4-year-old children were video recorded eating a standardized lunch. The recording was then coded for instances of maternal controlling feeding practices and maternal vocalizations using the Family Mealtime Coding System. Mothers also provided information on current symptoms of depression and anxiety. Mothers who reported greater symptoms of depression were observed to use more verbal and physical pressure for their child to eat and to offer more incentives or conditions in exchange for their child eating. Mothers also used more vocalizations with their child about food during the observed mealtime when they had greater symptoms of depression. There was no link between symptoms of depression and observations of maternal use of restriction. Symptoms of depression are linked with observations of mothers implementing a more controlling, less sensitive feeding style with their child. Health professionals working with families in which mothers have symptoms of depression may benefit from receiving training about the possible impact of maternal depression on child-feeding practices, and mothers with symptoms of depression may benefit from guidance regarding its potential impact on their child-feeding interactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Family Psychology 02/2013; 27(1):159-64. DOI:10.1037/a0031110 · 1.89 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: The prevalence of overweight among infants and toddlers has increased dramatically in the past three decades, highlighting the importance of identifying factors contributing to early excess weight gain, particularly in high-risk groups. Parental feeding styles and the attitudes and behaviors that characterize parental approaches to maintaining or modifying children's eating behavior are an important behavioral component shaping early obesity risk. Design and methods: Using longitudinal data from the Infant Care and Risk of Obesity Study, a cohort study of 217 African-American mother-infant pairs with feeding styles, dietary recalls, and anthropometry collected from 3 to 18 months of infant age, we examined the relationship between feeding styles, infant diet, and weight-for-age and sum of skinfolds. Results: Longitudinal mixed models indicated that higher pressuring and indulgent feeding style scores were positively associated with greater infant energy intake, reduced odds of breastfeeding, and higher levels of age-inappropriate feeding of liquids and solids, whereas restrictive feeding styles were associated with lower energy intake, higher odds of breastfeeding, and reduced odds of inappropriate feeding. Pressuring and restriction were also oppositely related to infant size with pressuring associated with lower infant weight-for-age and restriction with higher weight-for-age and sum of skinfolds. Infant size also predicted maternal feeding styles in subsequent visits indicating that the relationship between size and feeding styles is likely bidirectional. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the degree to which parents are pressuring or restrictive during feeding shapes the early feeding environment and, consequently, may be an important environmental factor in the development of obesity.
    Obesity 03/2013; 21(3):562-571. DOI:10.1002/oby.20091 · 3.73 Impact Factor
Show more