To identify associations between structure-related and non-responsive feeding practices and children's eating behaviors.
Cross-sectional online survey design.
Parents (n = 413) of 1- to 10-year-old children.
Main Outcome Measures
Parental feeding practices and child eating behaviors were measured via the validated Feeding Practices and Structure and Children's Eating Behaviour questionnaires.
Associations between parental feeding practices and children's eating behaviors were tested using hierarchical multivariable linear regression models, adjusted for covariates.
Feeding practices accounted for 28% and 21% of the variance in food fussiness and enjoyment of food, respectively (P < .001). For all other eating behaviors the amount of variance explained by feeding practices was < 10% (P < .001). Key findings were that more structure and less non-responsive practices were associated with lower food fussiness and higher enjoyment of food.
Conclusions and Implications
Overall, the findings suggested that mealtime structure and responsive feeding are associated with more desirable eating behaviors. Contrary to predictions, there was no evidence to indicate that these practices are associated with better self-regulation of energy intake. Longitudinal research and intervention studies are needed to confirm the importance of these feeding practices for children's eating behaviors and weight outcomes.
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Published online: October 01, 2016
Accepted: August 11, 2016
Conflict of Interest Disclosure: The authors' conflict of interest disclosures can be found online with this article on www.jneb.org.
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