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Obes Res Clin Pract. 2016 Sep - Oct;10(5):544-552. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2015.11.007. Epub 2015 Dec 12.

Disordered eating behaviours and food insecurity: A qualitative study about children with obesity in low-income households.

Author information

1
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, Oakland, CA, USA(1). Electronic address: jtester@chori.org.
2
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, Oakland, CA, USA(1).
3
University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, Berkeley, CA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

While there is information in the literature describing the poor nutritional intake of food-insecure youth, eating behaviours among food-insecure children - particularly, obese children are less well-described. We conducted focus groups with family members of low-income children who were initiating care in a paediatric obesity clinic. Food hiding emerged as a theme, and generated the motivation for this analysis.

METHODS:

Between April 2012 and December 2013, a total of 7 focus groups were conducted (4 food-insecure groups and 3 food-secure). Based on recruitment from 37 index patients, the focus groups were attended by a total of 47 participants. Participant responses about eating behaviours were evaluated using a combination of inductive codes derived from the data and deductive codes informed by criteria for diagnosis of disordered eating.

RESULTS:

While participants from food-secure and food-insecure households all had anecdotes about their children overeating, respondents in two of the food-insecure groups described episodes that resemble binge eating. The topic of hiding food emerged in the food-insecure groups, though was not endorsed in the food-secure groups despite probing. Night-time eating arose spontaneously in two of the food-insecure groups, but not in the food-secure groups.

CONCLUSION:

This study highlights the presence of food hiding, binge eating, and night-time eating in food-insecure children with obesity. These factors would further compound their health burden, and the relationship between disordered eating and food insecurity in children with obesity warrants further study.

KEYWORDS:

Disordered eating; Focus groups; Food hiding; Food insecurity; Paediatric obesity

PMID:
26689335
PMCID:
PMC4903957
DOI:
10.1016/j.orcp.2015.11.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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