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Appetite. 2015 Aug;91:385-92. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.04.078. Epub 2015 May 4.

Mindless feeding: Is maternal distraction during bottle-feeding associated with overfeeding?

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, 1505 Race Street, Mail Stop 1030, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA.
2
Department of Kinesiology, College of Math and Sciences, California Polytechnic University, One Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, USA. Electronic address: akventur@calpoly.edu.

Abstract

Mindless eating, or eating while distracted by surrounding stimuli, leads to overeating. The present study explored whether "mindless feeding," or maternal distraction during bottle-feeding, is associated with greater infant formula/milk intakes and lower maternal sensitivity to infant cues. Mothers and their ≤24-week-old bottle-feeding infants (N = 28) visited our laboratory for a video-recorded feeding observation. Infant intake was assessed by weighing bottles before and after the feedings. Maternal sensitivity to infant cues was objectively assessed by behavioral coding of video-records using the Nursing Child Assessment Feeding Scale. Maternal distraction was defined as looking away from the infant >75% of the feeding; using a mobile device; conversing with another adult; or sleeping. Twenty-nine percent (n = 8) of mothers were distracted. While differences in intakes for infants of distracted vs. not distracted mothers did not reach significance (p = 0.24), the association between distraction and infant intake was modified by two dimensions of temperament: orienting/regulation capacity (p = 0.03) and surgency/extraversion (p = 0.04). For infants with low orienting/regulation capacity, infants of distracted mothers consumed more (177.1 ± 33.8 ml) than those of not distracted mothers (92.4 ± 13.8 ml). Similar findings were noted for infants with low surgency/extraversion (distracted: 140.6 ± 22.5 ml; not distracted: 78.4 ± 14.3 ml). No association between distraction and intake was seen for infants with high orienting/regulation capacity or surgency/extraversion. A significantly greater proportion of distracted mothers showed low sensitivity to infant cues compared to not distracted mothers (p = 0.04). In sum, mindless feeding may interact with infant characteristics to influence feeding outcomes; further experimental and longitudinal studies are needed.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02111694.

KEYWORDS:

Bottle-feeding; Mindless eating; Mindless feeding; Mother-infant feeding interactions; Obesity prevention; Overfeeding

PMID:
25953601
PMCID:
PMC4464819
DOI:
10.1016/j.appet.2015.04.078
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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