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The COVID-19 pandemic caused France to impose a strict lockdown, affecting families’ habits in many domains. This study evaluated possible changes in child eating behaviors, parental feeding practices, and parental motivations when buying food during the lockdown, compared to the period before the lockdown. Parents of 498 children aged 3-12 years (238 boys; M=7.32; SD=2.27) completed an online survey with items from validated questionnaires (e.g., CEDQ, CEBQ, HomeSTEAD). They reported on their (child’s) current situation during the lockdown, and retrospectively on the period before the lockdown. Many parents reported changes in child eating behaviors, feeding practices, and food shopping motivations. When changes occurred, child appetite, food enjoyment, food responsiveness and emotional overeating significantly increased during the lockdown. Increased child boredom significantly predicted increased food responsiveness, emotional overeating and snack frequency in between meals. When parents changed their practices, they generally became more permissive: less rules, more soothing with food, more child autonomy. They bought pleasurable and sustainable foods more frequently, prepared more home-cooked meals and cooked more with the child. Level of education and increased stress level predicted changes in parental practices and motivations. This study provides insights in factors that can induce positive and negative changes in families’ eating, feeding and cooking behaviors. This can stimulate future studies and interventions.
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... 20 On the other hand, increased boredom in children was strongly correlated with increased food intake, emotional overeating, and frequency of eating snacks. 21 However, the current study revealed a significantly higher intake of foods from all dietary groups during the lockdown compared with the pre-pandemic time. This was also observed in a recent study. ...
... The lockdown has affected the children's mood and caused psychological problems such as anxiety, stress, depression, and avoidance behavior. 21,24,25 The current study was associated with several limitations. First, the sample size of the present study is relatively small considering the population size of the Middle Eastern Arab countries. ...
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This study aims to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Middle Eastern Arab ‎children’s eating habits, body weight, lifestyle, physical activity, sleeping hours, use of smart ‎electronic devices, and mental health. This exploratory study was conducted using a self-‎administered questionnaire and distributed to parents of children aged 4–12 years. Multinomial ‎logistic regression was performed to model the relationship between the predictors ‎and children’s ‎body weight changes during the pandemic. ‎A total of 891 responses were included from Bahrain, ‎Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, and Oman. The mean of the ‎children’s weight gained during the pandemic was 4.19 ± 3.08 Kg. A sedentary lifestyle has ‎significantly increased from 4% of children (pre-pandemic) to 17.9% during the pandemic (p < ‎‎0.001). Children’s sleeping hours have also significantly increased (> 9 hours/day) from 26.2% to ‎‎38.2%, respectively (p < 0.01). Emotional eating has increased from 72% to 91.5%, respectively. ‎Around 84% of parents reported increased use of smart electronic devices by children (‎5.48 ± ‎‎2.87 hours). A significant proportion of the children became more nagging (251, 44.2%), stressed ‎‎(192, 33.8%), lonely (153, 26.9%), and anxious (125, 22.5%). Increased body weight was more ‎associated with girls, children residing in Jordan and Bahrain, children with working mothers, ‎children of high-income or overweight parents, and children who were already overweight. The ‎findings demonstrate that the COVID-19 lockdown resulted in reduced physical activity, ‎increased food consumption, heightened use of smart electronic devices, and subsequently, ‎increased body weight among children. It is imperative for health authorities to implement ‎interventions, such as proper children's health education, to address these issues in the event of ‎future lockdowns.
... Even though several studies assessed emotional overeating during the COVID-19 pandemic in the adult population, studies of children and adolescents are scarce. In the study by Philippe et al. [16], it was indicated that during the COVID-19 pandemic, boredom emotional overeating, and snacking between meals increased in children aged 3-12 years. Similarly, in the previous analysis conducted within the Polish Adolescents' COVID-19 Experience (PLACE-19) Study [17], it was indicated that emotional eating was predicted by the female gender, and it contributed to excessive weight gain. ...
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Emotional overeating is the most frequently noted type of emotional eating, being commonly associated with increased consumption of energy-dense products, as well as excessive body mass, and weight gain. Even though a number of studies assessed emotional overeating during the COVID-19 pandemic in adult populations, studies of children and adolescents are scarce. The aim of the present study was to assess emotional overeating background, including consumption in response to six emotions (anxiety, sadness, loneliness, tiredness, anger, and happiness), in the population of Polish adolescents within the PLACE-19 Study during the COVID-19 pandemic. The PLACE-19 Study is a national Polish population-based study of adolescents gathered upon recruitment based on a random quota sampling of secondary schools, conducted in a population of 1126 students (818 females and 308 males, a median of age 17.0 and 16.5 years, respectively). Emotional overeating was assessed while using the Emotional Overeating Questionnaire (EOQ), and as additional factors, the following were assessed: gender, body mass, body mass change during the COVID-19 pandemic, and declared tempting food products. Female participants declared a higher frequency of overeating in response to feelings of anxiety, sadness, loneliness, and happiness, and were characterized by a higher total score than male participants, while p ≤ 0.05 was interpreted as a statistical significance. Obese participants declared a higher frequency of overeating in response to feelings of sadness, and loneliness than normal weight participants. Participants gaining weight declared a higher frequency of overeating in response to feelings of anxiety, sadness, loneliness, tiredness, and anger, and were characterized by a higher total score than participants losing weight or maintaining a stable weight, while participants gaining weight declared a higher frequency of overeating in response to feelings of happiness than participants losing weight. Participants declaring both sweet and salty products as tempting declared a higher frequency of overeating in response to feelings of anxiety, and sadness than participants declaring no tempting products; participants declaring both sweet and salty products declared a higher frequency of overeating in response to feelings of tiredness than participants declaring only salty products and those declaring no tempting products, as well as declared a higher frequency of overeating in response to feelings of happiness than participants declaring only sweet products, and those declaring no tempting products; participants declaring sweet products declared a higher frequency of overeating in response to feelings of anger than participants declaring no tempting products, while participants declaring both sweet and salty products declared a higher frequency of overeating in response to feelings of loneliness, and were characterized by a higher total score than all other respondents. The sub-groups with the highest frequency of emotional overeating were the female respondents, obese participants, those gaining weight, and those declaring both sweet and salty products as tempting, while among the emotions most often causing emotional overeating, there were sadness and loneliness.
... In addition, the uncertainty of how long the pandemic will last and unknown treatment methods, constant exposure to an intense flow of information about the pandemic and its effects, disruptions in education and business life, economic depression, and quarantine practices negatively affect the mental health of individuals (Özdin and Bayrak Özdin, 2020;Mendeş et al., 2022). Anxiety and stress that occur with the disease, especially in parents, negatively affect family life (Philippe et al., 2021). When the increasing parental anxiety levels are added to this, the unhealthy eating behaviors of children and adolescents will inevitably increase (Emerson et al., 2017). ...
Article
COVID-19, which affected the whole world in 2019, caused various psychosocial disorders, especially stress and anxiety disorders in individuals. Anxiety disorder, which is very common in parents, affects children's eating behaviors. The Mediterranean diet, which is one of the healthiest diets in the world thanks to its comprehensive vitamin and mineral content, has also been reported to be protective against COVID-19. In our study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between parents' anxiety levels and KIDMED scores, which measure their children's compliance with the Mediterranean diet. The questionnaire form, which was created using the Mediterranean Diet Quality Index (KIDMED), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS), was delivered to the parents by snowball method. In total, 589 parents were reached. Conditions such as parental gender, relationship status, number of children, and dietary supplement use before COVID-19 were only significantly associated with BAI. (p
... The government's recommendation to limit community activities and stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes in family eating habits. The results of the research done by Philippe et al. (2021) showed that more parents prepared and cooked meals at home during the pandemic than before the pandemic. The percentage of respondents in Java and Bali who bought food online more than twice a month was 44% and 41% outside of Java and Bali. ...
Article
This study aimed to examine the preference for and consumption of traditional and fast foods among adolescents in Indonesia and their relationship to social, economic, demographic, and regional factors. This cross-sectional study was conducted online in six provinces in Java and Bali (JB) and nine provinces outside Java and Bali (OJB), involving 4,500 junior high school, high school and university students. Questionnaire items that have been tested included personal and family information, food preferences (three Likert scales), frequency of food consumption (never, ≤ 1/month, 2-3 times/month, and ≥4 times/ month) for about 10–20 types of traditional food and 17 types of fast food that varies among the provinces. The t-test was applied to analyze the differences in scores and frequency of food consumption in Java and Bali (JB) and the provinces outside Java and Bali (OJB). Logistic regression was employed to discover factors that contributed to the frequency of consumption of traditional food and fast food. In the provinces outside Java and Bali, traditional foods—especially groups of food made with cereals, vegetables, seafood, bean and legumes, and traditional snacks—are preferred and consumed over fast food. In Java and Bali, fast food is preferred over traditional food. However, some food groups such as cereals, vegetables and seafood are consumed more in the form of traditional food and snacks. The results showed that in Java and Bali, most adolescents preferred fast food to traditional food (P<0.05). Although fast food was preferred, adolescents in Java and Bali more than often consumed traditional foods made with cereals, vegetables, seafood, beans and legumes, and traditional snacks; because traditional food is more affordable (P<0.05). Meanwhile, in provinces outside Java and Bali, adolescents generally prefer traditional food to fast food. This is in line with the frequency of consumption of traditional food which was also higher than that of fast food from most food groups (P<0.05). Consumption of traditional food and fast food is influenced by several social, economic, and demographic factors such as gender, place of residence, educational level of the adolescents, parental occupation and income, as well as online food purchase habits (P<0.05).
... A study conducted in five countries found an increased intake of legumes, fruits and vegetables but also a higher sweet food consumption in children aged 10-19 years [9]. In France, changes in child boredom and parental stress were found to influence eating and feeding behaviours and some parental characteristics were associated with feeding and cooking behaviours [10]. ...
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The aim of the EPaS-ISS study was to describe the changes in food consumption and eating behaviours of children (mainly aged 8–9 years) and their families between the pre-COVID-19 period (before February/March 2020) and the COVID-19 period (from February/March 2020 to April 2022). A web questionnaire completed by parents was used to collect data. The sociodemographic characteristics of the children and their parents were also explored through the web questionnaire. Seventeen regions out of nineteen and the two autonomous provinces (PA) of Italy participated in the study. The survey was completed for 4863 children (47.9% females). The study showed that only small changes in children’s food consumption happened between the pre-COVID-19 period and the COVID-19 period; in particular, about 25% of parents reported an increase in savoury snacks and sweet food. A decrease in fruit and vegetable (about 8%) and fish (14%) consumption was also found. However, the changes seem to have mainly affected children from most disadvantaged families. The results also indicate positive changes during the COVID-19 pandemic in some families’ eating behaviours, such as eating more home-cooked meals (42%) and family meals (39%), as well as cooking more with children (42%).
... The changes that occurred in dietary habits and the culinary and gastronomic practices during the first lockdown have been studied for different geographical areas, including the Region of Valencia [9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]. In the case of culinary and gastronomic practices-we understand culinary and gastronomic practices as those that incorporate a series of knowhow, techniques and specific knowledge together with the culture and history associated with the past of those who perform them [19]-different studies have highlighted the improvement in commensality practices, particularly among parents and children and the incorporation of the latter in culinary activities [20][21][22]. Other interesting findings were the positive association between the increase in the culinary activity, the improvement and acquisition of new skills and a better diet with an increase in the consumption of fruit and vegetables and a reduction in the consumption of fast food, in exchange for an increase in the preparation of traditional dishes of the Mediterranean diet. ...
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Introduction: The third wave of COVID-19 had a large impact on the autonomous Region of Valencia, which gave rise to restrictions on movement and access to collective eating establishments. The objective of this study is to analyse the culinary and gastronomic behaviour exhibited by the population of the province of Alicante during the period of restrictions, in early 2021, in order to compare the results with an identical survey carried out during the first lockdown of 2020. Methods: observational and repeated cross-sectional study. Results: The frequency and time dedicated to cooking were similar, as was the tendency to cook as a family, although the percentage of meals ate alone increased and the presence of audiovisual devices during meals persisted. Recipes, cookbooks, websites and online courses became the principal sources of learning and the self-perception of improvements in culinary skills was greater. The cooking of traditional dishes of the Mediterranean diet predominated to the detriment of ready meals, but 41.6% of those surveyed preferred to improvise. The recipes most consulted were those for main courses. Conclusions: In spite of certain changes and setbacks, which in many cases led to a regression to the situation prior to the pandemic, many of the improvements made during the lockdown of 2020 persisted. Changes were made in culinary and gastronomic practices that can help to achieve a more conscious, healthy and sustainable diet but which require educational policies and actions to reinforce and consolidate them.
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Food parenting practices, especially Autonomy support practices and Structure practices, have not been comprehensively studied among parents of children born with low birth weight in Asia. The aim of this study was to investigate food parenting practices among parents of preschoolers who were born with low (<2500 g) and normal birth weight (>2500 g) in Singapore. We recruited 197 parents of pre-school children (aged 3-5 years) who completed a socio-demographic questionnaire and the HomeSTEAD questionnaire, which examined food parenting practices. Among parents, 98 (49.8%) and 99 (50.2%) had children who were normal (NBW) and low birth weight (LBW) respectively. Parents of children with LBW had lower scores in one Autonomy support practice (Encouragement) and three Structure practices (Meal setting, Planning and preparation of healthy meals, Rules and limits around unhealthy foods), after controlling for ethnicity and education. Parents of children with LBW also scored higher in one Autonomy support practice (Guided choices: when food is given). There were no significant differences in Coercive control practices between parents of both groups. Healthcare professionals could use this information to assess parental needs when facilitating parents' positive food parenting practices, especially among children with low birth weight.
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This study investigated the impact of COVID-19 information overload on emotional eating behavior in China’s post-pandemic period, while considering the mediating role of fear of COVID-19 and the protective role of self-compassion. The study was based on stimulus-organism-response framework and emotion regulation theories and it used convenience sampling to recruit 902 adult participants from 31 provinces in China, who completed the COVID-19 Information Overload Scale, Fear of COVID-19 Scale, Emotional Eating Scale, and Self-Compassion Scale. SPSS 24.0 and the Process 3.5 macro program were used to carry out descriptive statistical, correlation analyses and moderated mediating effect tests on the data. The results indicated that COVID-19 information overload is a significant predictor of emotional eating behavior, with fear of COVID-19 mediating this relationship. Furthermore, the study found that self-compassion moderates the negative effect of COVID-19 information overload on fear of COVID-19 and mitigates the effect of fear of COVID-19 on emotional eating. The findings highlight the mechanisms by which excessive and ambiguous information affects emotional eating behavior in the post-pandemic period and provide insights on how to improve individual emotional eating behavior.
Article
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, some autistic children exhibited maladaptive eating behaviours, yet the pandemic presented additional challenges for families beyond the general disruption COVID-19. The present study investigated parental perspectives of their autistic child’s eating behaviours in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using reflexive thematic analysis, semi-structured interviews of 15 caregivers of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder were analysed. Three main themes were constructed: importance of control; exposure to food and family mealtimes; and an increase in snack and ‘junk’ food. Eating behaviours in autistic children were both positively and negatively affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. Whilst all parents felt under pressure with extra care responsibilities, some described less concern over food intake during the first lockdown because they were able to support their child’s mealtimes and have new food experiences. By the end of the lockdowns, many parents reported worsening of eating behaviours, with children more likely to have a restricted diet, and eating more snack foods. Food shortages also triggered additional stress with parents unable to access their child’s preferred food. The findings suggested reducing anxiety triggers and increasing food exposure in safe contexts may aid autistic children in trying new varieties of food. However, to minimise long-term eating difficulties during times of uncertainty when food access may be difficult, parents of autistic children would benefit from wider understanding, acceptance and support managing their child’s selective eating.
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Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown on body mass index (BMI) z-score of adolescents treated for obesity, and to assess the correlation between BMI z-score changes and lifestyle variables. Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 66 participants aged 11-18 years with overweight or obesity who attended our obesity clinics before and after the lockdown. We assessed demographic and anthropometric characteristics as well as lifestyle variables. Results: The mean BMI z-score of the participants was stable during this period (p = 0.233). Balanced diet, snacking, and sweet beverage consumption improved in about half of the participants. Having at least one parent at home was associated with a significantly more balanced diet (p = 0.008) and an increase in family activities (p = 0.015). Physical activities decreased (51.5%) and screen time increased for most of the adolescents (86.4%). The BMI z-score decreased significantly when three or more lifestyle habits improved (p<0.001). Conclusions: This study showed that BMI z-scores were stable for a majority of adolescents treated for obesity during the COVID19 lockdown, along with positive and negative changes on weight-related lifestyle habits. This extraordinary period may have created opportunities for lifestyle modification and has emphasized the importance of family support in the management of obesity in adolescents.
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Abstract Background On December 12th 2019, a new coronavirus (SARS-Cov2) emerged in Wuhan, China, sparking a pandemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans (COVID-19). On the 24th of April 2020, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the world, according to the COVID-Case Tracker by Johns Hopkins University, was 195,313, and the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases was 2,783,512. The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive impact on human health, causing sudden lifestyle changes, through social distancing and isolation at home, with social and economic consequences. Optimizing public health during this pandemic requires not only knowledge from the medical and biological sciences, but also of all human sciences related to lifestyle, social and behavioural studies, including dietary habits and lifestyle. Methods Our study aimed to investigate the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on eating habits and lifestyle changes among the Italian population aged ≥ 12 years. The study comprised a structured questionnaire packet that inquired demographic information (age, gender, place of residence, current employment); anthropometric data (reported weight and height); dietary habits information (adherence to the Mediterranean diet, daily intake of certain foods, food frequency, and number of meals/day); lifestyle habits information (grocery shopping, habit of smoking, sleep quality and physical activity). The survey was conducted from the 5th to the 24th of April 2020. Results A total of 3533 respondents have been included in the study, aged between 12 and 86 years (76.1% females). The perception of weight gain was observed in 48.6% of the population; 3.3% of smokers decided to quit smoking; a slight increased physical activity has been reported, especially for bodyweight training, in 38.3% of respondents; the population group aged 18–30 years resulted in having a higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet when compared to the younger and the elderly population (p
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Background: The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic is a public health emergency of international concern and poses a challenge to psychological resilience. Research data are needed to develop evidence-driven strategies to reduce adverse psychological impacts and psychiatric symptoms during the epidemic. The aim of this study was to survey the general public in China to better understand their levels of psychological impact, anxiety, depression, and stress during the initial stage of the COVID-19 outbreak. The data will be used for future reference. Methods: From 31 January to 2 February 2020, we conducted an online survey using snowball sampling techniques. The online survey collected information on demographic data, physical symptoms in the past 14 days, contact history with COVID-19, knowledge and concerns about COVID-19, precautionary measures against COVID-19, and additional information required with respect to COVID-19. Psychological impact was assessed by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), and mental health status was assessed by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Results: This study included 1210 respondents from 194 cities in China. In total, 53.8% of respondents rated the psychological impact of the outbreak as moderate or severe; 16.5% reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms; 28.8% reported moderate to severe anxiety symptoms; and 8.1% reported moderate to severe stress levels. Most respondents spent 20–24 h per day at home (84.7%); were worried about their family members contracting COVID-19 (75.2%); and were satisfied with the amount of health information available (75.1%). Female gender, student status, specific physical symptoms (e.g., myalgia, dizziness, coryza), and poor self-rated health status were significantly associated with a greater psychological impact of the outbreak and higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (p < 0.05). Specific up-to-date and accurate health information (e.g., treatment, local outbreak situation) and particular precautionary measures (e.g., hand hygiene, wearing a mask) were associated with a lower psychological impact of the outbreak and lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (p < 0.05). Conclusions: During the initial phase of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, more than half of the respondents rated the psychological impact as moderate-to-severe, and about one-third reported moderate-to-severe anxiety. Our findings identify factors associated with a lower level of psychological impact and better mental health status that can be used to formulate psychological interventions to improve the mental health of vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 epidemic.
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Abstract During childhood, the amount of food consumed, associated with adiposity and overweight risk, depends mainly on the amount of food that is served, especially by parents. This study focuses on the food amount served by parents (“Portion”), with two objectives: 1/to confirm (or not) its link with the food amount eaten (“Intake”) by their child; 2/to identify some of its correlates, i.e., maternal education, and child's appetite arousal. Five hundred and three French children aged between 8 and 11 years and one of their parents completed different self-administrated questionnaires online. Results indicated that Portion and Intake were highly correlated, and that mothers with lower levels of education gave larger portions to their child, especially if he/she had a high appetite arousal. Moreover, these mothers, compared to others, were more concerned by taste preferences and less by health with regard to their child's diet. Such differences in taste and health considerations may contribute to underlie the educational inequality in food portion size.
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Dans le contexte de frugalité alimentaire de la dernière décennie, de plus en plus d’enfants et d’adolescents ont sauté des repas, notamment le petit déjeuner et le goûter. Ces deux moments de consommation sont pourtant recommandés par le Plan National Nutrition Santé (PNNS), afin d’apporter de l’énergie tout au long de la journée et d’aider les enfants à diversifier leur alimentation. Grâce à son système d’enquête sur les Comportements et Consommations Alimentaires en France (CCAF), le CRÉDOC a pu définir comment évolue la prise de goûters chez les enfants de 3 à 17 ans et quelle est sa composition. L’étude montre qu’après une baisse au milieu des années 2000 prolongée jusqu’en 2013, la part des enfants qui goûtent régulièrement s’est un peu redressée depuis. Elle reste toutefois inférieure à ce qu’elle était il y a treize ans. Le goûter participe à diversifier l’alimentation des enfants, notamment par la consommation de fruits et de produits laitiers, et à l’hydratation. Le produit céréalier reste le produit phare. Force est de constater que, sauf chez les plus jeunes, peu de goûters suivent les recommandations du PNNS et du Groupe d’étude des marchés restauration collective et nutrition (GEM-RCN).
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To limit the transmission of COVID-19, nationwide lockdown was imposed in France between March, 17(th) and May, 10(th) 2020. This disruption in individuals' daily routines likely altered food consumption habits. We examined how changes in food choice motives related to changes in nutritional quality during the lockdown compared to before. A convenience sample of 938 French adults completed online questionnaires on the Qualtrics platform at the end of April 2020. Participants were retrospectively asked about their food choice motives and food consumption during the month before and in the first month of the lockdown. The importance of nine food choice motives was assessed: health, convenience, sensory appeal, natural content, ethical concern, weight control, mood, familiarity, and price, scoring from 1 to 4. Food intakes were recorded using a food frequency questionnaire including 110 foods, 12 non-alcoholic beverages and 4 alcoholic beverages. Adherence to the French dietary recommendations before and during the lockdown was estimated using the simplified PNNS-GS2 score, scoring from -17 to 11.5. The nutritional quality of diet was lower during the lockdown compared to before (-0.32, SD 2.28, p<0.001). Food choice motives significantly changed and an increase in the importance of weight control was associated with increased nutritional quality (β=0.89, p<0.001, partial η(2)=0.032), whereas an increase in the importance of mood was associated with decreased nutritional quality (β=-0.43, p=0.021, partial η(2)=0.006). The lockdown period in France was related to a decrease in nutritional quality of diet on average, which could be partly explained by changes in food choice motives. The lockdown was indeed related to modification of food choice motives, notably with an increase of weight control, health, natural content and ethical concern.
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Interventions designed to improve children's self-regulation of energy intake have yielded mixed results. We tested the efficacy of a technology-enhanced intervention designed to teach children to eat in response to internal hunger and fullness cues. Thirty-two children (mean age 4.9 ± 0.8 y) completed this within-subjects, pre-post design study that took place across 10 laboratory sessions, each scheduled approximately 1 week apart. The intervention was conducted across weeks 4–7 in small groups focused on teaching children how food travels through the body and how to respond to hunger and fullness signals. Children's short-term energy compensation, a measure of intake regulation, was collected at baseline and follow-up using a preloading protocol. Twenty-five minutes prior to receiving a standardized test meal, children consumed a low-energy (3 kcal) or high-energy (150 kcal) preload beverage, presented in random order at baseline and follow-up. Knowledge of intervention concepts was also assessed at baseline and follow-up. Linear mixed models were used to examine changes in short-term energy compensation and knowledge from baseline to follow-up. Knowledge related to the intervention improved from baseline to follow-up (3.5 ± 0.3 to 7.0 ± 0.3 correct responses out of a possible 10; P < 0.001). Children's energy compensation also improved from baseline to follow-up, as evidenced by a time-by-preload condition interaction (P = 0.02). However, this improvement was driven by boys who increased the adjustment for beverage energy content from baseline to follow-up (P = 0.04). Girls showed no change in energy compensation with the intervention (P = 0.58). The overall increase in knowledge, paired with the improvement in energy compensation in boys, suggests that this technology-enhanced intervention may be efficacious for some children. Further research is needed to determine whether boys and girls will benefit from different, personalized intervention strategies for obesity prevention.
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Objective To test the hypothesis that youths with obesity, when removed from structured school activities and confined to their homes during the COVID‐19 pandemic, will display unfavorable trends in lifestyle behaviors. Methods The sample included 41 children and adolescents with obesity participating in a longitudinal observational study located in Verona, Italy. Lifestyle information including diet, activity, and sleep behaviors were collected at baseline and three weeks into the national lockdown during which home confinement was mandatory. Changes in outcomes over the two study time points were evaluated for significance using paired t‐tests. Results There were no changes in reported vegetable intake; fruit intake increased (p=0.055) during the lockdown. By contrast, potato chip, red meat, and sugary drink intakes increased significantly during the lockdown (p‐value range, 0.005 to <0.001). Time spent in sports activities decreased (X±SD) by 2.30±4.60 hours/week (p=0.003) and sleep time increased by 0.65±1.29 hours/day (p=0.003). Screen time increased by 4.85±2.40 hours/day (p<0.001). Conclusions Recognizing these adverse collateral effects of the COVID‐19 pandemic lockdown is critical in avoiding depreciation of weight control efforts among youths afflicted with excess adiposity. Depending on duration, these untoward lockdown effects may have a lasting impact on a child’s or adolescent’s adult adiposity level.
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Young children have an innate ability to self-regulate food intake, driven primarily by hunger and satiety cues, but this ability tends to decrease during early childhood. The study aimed to first examine the development and initial validation of a self-report questionnaire suitable for French samples that assess two dimensions of children's self-regulation of eating (eating in the absence of hunger, poor eating compensation abilities) and potential related parental feeding practices. The second aim was to assess the links between children's self-regulation of eating and parental feeding practices as well as the links between children's self-regulation and children's body mass index. An initial 28-item questionnaire was developed. It included items related to the child's eating in the absence of hunger and eating compensation, which were selected mainly from interviews conducted with 45 mothers, and items related to parental feeding practices selected from existing tools. This questionnaire was then completed by 793 parents. A 21-item questionnaire was validated using a confirmatory factor analysis that showed satisfying fit indices. The structural equation modeling indicated that the use of food as reward was positively associated with eating in the absence of hunger, whereas parental awareness of children's cues was negatively associated with both children's eating in the absence of hunger and poor eating compensation ability. Interestingly, positive associations between eating in the absence of hunger and child's BMI, and between poor eating compensation ability and child's BMI were reported. The current study offered an initial validation of a new questionnaire that combines parental feeding practices and constructs involved in children's self-regulation of eating. Further studies are needed to disentangle these links and their directionality as well as the associations with children's body mass index.