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Minerva Pediatr. 2015 Dec;67(6):481-7. Epub 2014 Jul 18.

Does maternal obesity have an influence on feeding behavior of obese children?

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Clinic of Pediatric Endocrinology, Goztepe Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey -



Although the pathogenesis of childhood obesity is multi factorial, maternal obesity and parenting have major roles. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of maternal obesity on feeding practices toward their obese school children.


Obese children and adolescents referred to the pediatric endocrinology department were enrolled consecutively. Height and weight of all children and their mothers were measured. Maternal feeding practices were measured using an adapted version of the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ). Answers were compared between obese (Body Mass Index [BMI] ≥ 30 kg/m2) and non-obese mothers.


A total of 491 obese subjects (292 girls, mean age 12.0 ± 2.8 years) and their mothers participated in this study. A direct correlation between children's BMI and their mothers' BMI was found (P<0.001) both in girls (r = 0.372) and boys (r = 0.337). While 64.4% of mothers were found obese in the study, only half of them consider themselves as obese. No difference were found in the scores of the subscales "perceived responsibility", "restriction", "concern for child's weight" and "monitoring" between obese and non-obese mothers. Child's BMI-SDS positively correlated with mothers' personal weight perception, concern for child's weight and restriction after adjustment for child's age (P < 0.001, P = 0.012 and P = 0.002, respectively).


Mothers' BMI highly correlate with children's BMI-z-scores. The degree of child's obesity increases mothers' concern and food restriction behavior. While mothers of obese children have a high prevalence of obesity, maternal obesity was found to have no significant influence on feeding behavior of obese school children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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