Maternal feeding strategies, child eating behaviors, and child BMI in low-income African-American preschoolers.Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006 Nov; 14(11):2026-33.O
To test the hypothesis that low-income African-American preschool children would have a higher BMI if their mothers reported greater "restriction" and "control" in feeding and if mothers reported that children showed greater "food responsiveness" and "desire to drink." In addition, to test whether higher maternal "pressure to eat" would be associated with lower child BMI.
RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES
A questionnaire was completed by 296 low-income African-American mothers of preschool children. It assessed three constructs on maternal feeding strategies ("restriction," "pressure to eat," and "control") and two on child eating behaviors ("food responsiveness" and "desire to drink"). Children's BMI was measured, and mothers' BMI was self-reported.
The mean (standard deviation) BMI z-score of the children was 0.34 (1.5), and 44% of the mothers were obese (BMI > or =30 kg/m(2)). Only maternal "pressure to eat" had a significant overall association with child BMI z-score (r = -0.16, p < 0.01). Both maternal "restriction" and "control" were positively associated with children's BMI z-score in the case of obese mothers (r = 0.20, p = 0.03 and r = 0.24, p = 0.007, respectively), but this was not so in the case of non-obese mothers (r = -0.16, p = 0.05 and r = -0.07, p = 0.39, respectively).
Among low-income African Americans, the positive association between maternal restriction and control in feeding and their preschoolers' BMI was limited to obese mothers. Relations between parent feeding strategies and child weight status in this population may differ on the basis of maternal weight status.