The role of family and maternal factors in childhood obesity.

Division of Population Sciences, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA.
The Medical journal of Australia (Impact Factor: 3.79). 07/2007; 186(11):591-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To investigate the relationship between a child's weight and a broad range of family and maternal factors.
Cross-sectional data from a population-based prospective study, collected between January 2004 and December 2005, for 329 children aged 6-13 years (192 healthy weight, 97 overweight and 40 obese) and their mothers (n=265) recruited from a paediatric hospital endocrinology department and eight randomly selected primary schools in Perth, Western Australia.
Height, weight and body mass index (BMI) of children and mothers; demographic information; maternal depression, anxiety, stress and self-esteem; general family functioning; parenting style; and negative life events.
In a multilevel model, maternal BMI and family structure (single-parent v two-parent families) were the only significant predictors of child BMI z scores.
Childhood obesity is not associated with adverse maternal or family characteristics such as maternal depression, negative life events, poor general family functioning or ineffective parenting style. However, having an overweight mother and a single-parent (single-mother) family increases the likelihood of a child being overweight or obese.

Download full-text


Available from: Stephen R Zubrick, Jul 02, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although low-income children are at greater risk for overweight and obesity than their higher income counterparts, the majority of poor children are not overweight. The current study examined why such variation exists among diverse young children in poor families. Cross-sectional data were collected on 164 low-income, preschool aged children and their mothers living in two Rhode Island cities. Over half of the sample was Hispanic (55%). Mothers completed measures of family food behaviors and depression while trained assistants collected anthropometric data from children at seven day care centers and a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program outreach project. Multivariate analysis of covariance revealed that higher maternal depression scores were associated with lower scores on maternal presence when child eats (P < .05 ), maternal control of child's eating routines (P < .03), and food resource management skills (P < .01), and with higher scores on child control of snacking (P < .03) and negative mealtime practices (P < .05). Multiple regression results revealed that greater maternal presence whenever the child ate was significantly associated with lower child BMI z scores (β = .166, P < .05). Logistic regression analyses indicated that higher scores on food resource management skills reduced the odds of child overweight (odds ratios = .72 - .95, P < .01). Maternal depression did not modify the relationship between family food behaviors and child weight. Overall, caregiver presence whenever a child eats, not just at meals, and better parental food resource management skills may promote healthier weights in low-income preschoolers. Further research is needed to identify the mechanisms that connect caregiver presence and food resource management skills to healthier weights for this age group.
    Appetite 04/2014; 79. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2014.04.015 · 2.69 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The influence of parental and early childhood factors on adolescent obesity was investigated using a longitudinal model of body mass index (BMI) from birth to 14 years.Trajectories of BMI using linear mixed model (LMM) analysis were used to investigate the influence of early parental and childhood factors on BMI at 14 years in the Raine birth cohort study over eight follow-ups (n = 1403).An inverse relationship between parental education attainment and BMI was found (mothers χ = 21.75, p = 0.016; LMM p = 0.043; fathers χ = 21.19, p= 0.020; LMM p > 0.05). More overweight adolescents had mothers who smoked during pregnancy (χ = 12.60, p = 0.002). Parental birth weight and BMI across years (p
    Early Child Development and Care 08/2012; 182(8):1071-1087. DOI:10.1080/03004430.2012.678590
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest nutritional assistance program addressing food insecurity in the United States. Due to the program’s reach, SNAP has been called upon to address other nutrition-related challenges facing low-income Americans, including childhood obesity. This study considers the effect of SNAP participation on child weight outcomes after controlling for household financial stress, an important determinant of child overweight status that disproportionately affects low-income households. Using data from the Survey of Household Finances and Childhood Obesity and instrumental variable methods, we find that SNAP participation is negatively associated with obesity among eligible children.