Parental use of restrictive feeding practices and child BMI z-score. A 3-year prospective cohort study Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examines associations between parental feeding restriction at baseline and child body mass index (BMI) z-score at 3-year follow-up. Parents of 204 5-6-year-old and 188 10-12-year-old children completed the Child Feeding Questionnaire at baseline (2002/3). In 2002/3 and 2005/6, children's BMI z-score was calculated from measured height and weight. Analyses were stratified by age-group. The association of follow-up zBMI and baseline feeding restriction score was explored using (i) linear regression with adjustment for baseline zBMI and (ii) with further adjustments for baseline maternal BMI, maternal education level and child sex. Baseline restriction was associated with follow-up zBMI at 3 years in 5-6-year-old children and was largely unchanged when adjusting for child sex, maternal BMI and education. Restriction was not associated with follow-up zBMI in 10-12-year-old children. This longitudinal study adds important depth to our understanding of associations between restrictive feeding and change in zBMI, suggesting that restriction of energy-dense foods and drinks may be protective of unhealthy weight gain in younger children but may have no effect among older children. These findings support a reconsideration of the notion that restriction is likely to result in increased child weight.


  • Campbell, Karen
  • Andrianopoulos, Nick
  • Hesketh, Kylie
  • Ball, Kylie
  • Crawford, David
  • Brennan, Leah
  • Corsini, Nadia
  • Timperio, Anna

publication date

  • August 2010