Familial Transmission of Eating Behaviors in Preschool-aged Children

Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.
Obesity (Impact Factor: 3.73). 05/2008; 16(8):1821-5. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2008.255
Source: PubMed


To examine weight-related differences in eating behaviors and nutrition of preschool-aged children, the influence of maternal eating behavior on the child's eating behavior, and sex-related differences in the transmission of eating behaviors. A total of 142 mothers of children aged 3-6 years participated. Maternal and child's eating behaviors as well as child's food consumption were assessed using questionnaires completed by mothers. Maternal BMI and child's standardized BMI (BMI-SDS) were also calculated. More than half of the mothers were obese. Multiple regression analysis was used to predict eating behavior of the children by mothers' variables. Overweight children scored higher in external eating, food responsiveness, and speed of eating than normal-weight children, whereas children of overweight mothers showed higher amounts of emotional eating than children of normal-weight mothers. Maternal emotional eating (R(2) = 0.19, P < 0.001) and mother's BMI (R(2) = 0.07, P < 0.05) positively predicted emotional eating of sons. Maternal emotional eating (R(2) = 0.19, P < 0.01) completely mediated the relation between mother's BMI and emotional eating of sons. For mother-daughter dyads, no such relation was found. The tested model shows sex-related differences in the transmission of maternal eating behavior which is discussed as being related to the development and maintenance of obesity.

Full-text preview

Available from:
  • Source
    • "Parents play a fundamental role in shaping the home environment and its concomitant normative behaviors. Parents control which foods are available in the home and their parental style related to feeding(Arredondo et al., 2006)can shape a child's dietary preference throughout his/her life (Jahnke and Warschburger, 2008).Parents also determine the amount of time children spend watching television (Ariza et al., 2004). "

    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014
  • Source
    • "Low-income children are particularly at risk; nearly one in three low-income preschool-age children are overweight or obese (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Obesogenic eating behaviors such as frequent desire to eat, external eating (i.e., eating in response to external, as opposed to internal cues), emotional overeating, eating beyond satiety and persistent tantrums over food have been consistently implicated in the development of childhood overweight or obesity (Agras, Hammer, McNicholas, & Kraemer, 2004; Braet et al., 2008; Jahnke & Warschburger, 2012). From a prevention perspective, it is important to consider factors that may contribute to children's obesogenic eating behaviors in order to develop strategies to address these eating behaviors early in development. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite increased attention to the role of temperament in children's obesogenic eating behaviors, there is a paucity of research examining whether different dimensions of temperament may be differentially associated with specific eating behaviors among preschool-age children. The purpose of the current study was to examine whether three temperament dimensions (surgency, negative affectivity, and effortful control) were uniquely associated with six obesogenic eating behaviors (caregiver-reported food responsiveness, enjoyment of food, emotional overeating, satiety responsiveness, and tantrums over food; and observed eating in the absence of hunger) among low-income preschool-age children, covarying home environment quality. Results showed that temperament dimensions were differentially associated with different eating behaviors. Specifically, preschoolers with higher surgency were more likely to overeat in response to external cues, have frequent desire to eat, derive pleasure from food, and eat in the absence of hunger. In contrast, preschoolers with higher negative affectivity were more likely to have tantrums over being denied food and less likely to eat in the absence of hunger. Effortful control was not uniquely associated with obesogenic eating behavior. Findings remained significant even when home chaos was accounted for, suggesting that child surgency and negative affectivity are important to consider, independent of home environment. Results are discussed with regard to theoretical implications for the study of childhood obesity and for applied prevention implications.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Appetite
  • Source
    • "The few studies that did focus on external eating found that high external eating is related to lower BMI (Braet et al., 2008; Goldfield et al., 2010; Lluch et al., 2000; Snoek, van Strien, et al., 2007; Wardle et al., 1992) or for younger children unrelated to weight status (Hill, Draper, & Stack, 1994; Jahnke & Warschburger, 2008; Ledoux et al., 2011), which is in sharp contrast with experimental research showing that food cues are related to food intake in children ( "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Individual differences in eating behaviours might partly explain the variations in development of weight gain and subsequent overweight and obesity. In the current study, identified trajectories of BMI in adolescence and their associations with restrained, emotional and external eating were tested. For the BMI trajectories growth mixture modelling was used; a method used to identify clusters of individuals within a population that follow distinct developmental trajectories. In total 328 Dutch adolescents (13-15 years old at baseline) self-reported their height and weight at five annual waves and their eating behaviour at baseline. Development of BMI was best fitted in five distinct trajectories that showed similar moderate increase of BMI over time; parallel but at a different level. High restrained eaters had a higher chance of being in the higher BMI trajectories. Emotional and external eating were unrelated to the BMI trajectories. In conclusion, adolescents in this study followed very parallel patterns of moderate increases in BMI which suggests that factors acting on individual differences in weight status have had their influence mostly at a - perhaps much - younger age. Restraint eating was related to BMI in early adolescence, but not to increases or decreases in BMI over the course of adolescence.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Appetite
Show more