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Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2009 Dec 29;6:93. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-6-93.

Maternal anthropometry and feeding behavior toward preschool children: association with childhood body mass index in an observational study of Chilean families.

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  • 1Departamento de Nutrición, Diabetes y Metabolismo. Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A better understanding of the link between eating behavior and maternal feeding practices with childhood and maternal weight status is of great interest.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the association between childhood anthropometric measures with mothers' Body Mass Index (BMI) and their feeding practices toward preschool children in Chile.

METHODS:

1029 children (504 boys, 4.3 +/- 0.3 years) and their mothers were selected from public nurseries located in low income neighborhoods in Santiago. Mothers' BMI, children's BMI and waist-to-height ratios were registered. Maternal feeding practices towards their children's nutritional habits were measured using an adapted version of the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ).

RESULTS:

We found a direct correlation (p < 0.001) between children's BMI z-score and their mothers' BMI, both in boys (Spearman rho = 0.26) and girls (rho = 0.30). A direct association was also found between children's BMI z-score with scores of the subscale "concern for child's weight" (Spearman rho = 0.26 in boys and rho = 0.37 in girls; p < 0.001) and "food restriction" (rho = 0.19 in boys and rho = 0.27 in girls; p < 0.001). A reverse significant association was found between children's BMI z-score with scores of "pressure to eat" (rho = -0.30 in boys and rho = -0.36 in girls; p < 0.001). Analyses of the combined categories of childhood obesity and/or maternal obesity showed an important influence of children's weight status on CFQ scores.

CONCLUSION:

Mothers' BMI and children's BMI z-scores are highly correlated. We found significant associations between mothers' behaviour subscales and children's BMI z-score. It is not possible to establish a causal link between mother's CFQ scores and children's nutritional status, given the cross-sectional nature of this study and the bidirectional influences that exist between mothers and their children.

PMID:
20040107
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2809038
Free PMC Article

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