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Eat Behav. 2010 Jan;11(1):54-61. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2009.09.004. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

Patterns of maternal feeding and child eating associated with eating disorders in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa).

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Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Neurosciences Hospital, CB #7160, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7160, USA.


The impact of eating disorders on maternal feeding practices and children's eating behaviors is not well understood. In the prospective Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), we compared self-reported feeding behavior in mothers with anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and no eating disorders (No ED) as well as child eating behaviors and psychological symptoms. The sample comprised 13,006 women and their children from a prospective population-based study of 100,000 births throughout Norway. Eating disorder status was measured 6 months prior to pregnancy and during pregnancy. Maternal feeding, child eating, and psychological variables were reported by mothers when their child was 36 months old. Mothers with BN and BED were more likely to report restrictive feeding styles and child eating problems than mothers without eating disorders. Regarding the pressure to eat feeding style, no significant differences emerged across groups. Differences in self-reported feeding styles and children's eating behavior exist between mothers with and without eating disorders. Longitudinal follow-up will assist in determining the implications of feeding style on later growth trajectories and development.

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