Controlling feeding practices: Cause or consequence of early child weight?

Claire Victoria Farrow, Jacqueline Blissett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

140 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION. The exertion of control during child feeding has been associated with both underweight and overweight during childhood. What is as-yet unclear is whether controlling child feeding practices causally affect child weight or whether the use of control may be a reactive response to concerns about high or low child weight. The aims of this study were to explore the direction of causality in these relationships during infancy. METHODS. Sixty-two women gave informed consent to take part in this longitudinal study that spanned from birth to 2 years of child age. Mothers completed the Child Feeding Questionnaire at 1 year, and their children were weighed at 1 and 2 years of age. Child weight scores were converted into standardized z scores that accounted for child age and gender. RESULTS. Controlling for child weight at 1 year, the use of pressure to eat and restriction at 1 year significantly predicted lower child weight at 2 years. CONCLUSIONS. Controlling feeding practices in infancy have an impact on children's weight at 2 years. The use of restrictive child feeding practices during infancy predicts lower child weight at age 2 years, which may reinforce mothers' use of this strategy in the longer term despite its potential association with disinhibition and greater child weight in later childhood.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatrics
Volume121
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Child
  • Control
  • Feeding practice
  • Obesity
  • Weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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