Correlates of parental feeding practices with pre-schoolers: Parental body image and eating knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Parental feeding practices have been linked to eating and weight status in young children; however, more research is needed to understand what influences these feeding practices. The aim of this study was to examine how parental feeding practices that are linked to unhealthy eating patterns in young children, are related to parental body image and eating knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours . Participants were 330 mothers of a 2- to 6-year-old child. Mothers completed measures of knowledge of child body image and eating patterns, overvaluation of weight and shape, internalization of general media and athletic ideals, dieting, and parental feeding practices. Higher maternal knowledge of strategies to promote positive child body image and eating patterns predicted lower weight restriction, instrumental, emotional, and pushing to eat feeding practices. Overvaluation of weight and shape predicted use of fat restriction. Maternal internalization of the athletic ideal predicted instrumental and pushing to eat feeding practices. As these feeding practices have been associated with long-term risk of children's weight gain and/or disordered eating, these findings highlight the need for prevention interventions to target knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours of parents of pre-schoolers.

publication date

  • 2016

has subject area