Longitudinal associations between early child weight gain, parent feeding, child self-regulation, and later child body mass index

Marisol Perez La Mar, Laura K. Winstone, Sarah G. Curci, Juan C. Hernández, Jennifer A. Somers, Linda J. Luecken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Few longitudinal studies have examined associations of child weight trajectories, maternal demandingness and responsiveness during feeding, and child self-regulation. Objective: We examined if child weight-for-length trajectories from 6 weeks to 2 years of age were associated with maternal demandingness and responsiveness at child age 3 years old, and if maternal feeding dimensions predicted child BMI trajectories from 4.5 to 7.5 years among Mexican American children from low-income families. Child self-regulation was evaluated as a potential mechanism linking maternal feeding with child BMI. Method: Child (N = 322) weight and length/height were assessed at 10 timepoints from 6 weeks through 7.5 years. Mothers completed the Caregiver Feeding Style Questionnaire when the child was 3 years of age. Results: A steeper slope of weight-for-length z scores from 6 weeks to 2 years (indicating more rapid weight gain) was associated with less maternal demands during feeding at 3 years. More maternal demandingness at child age 3 years predicted lower child BMI at 4.5 years, but not trajectories from 4.5 to 7 years. Child self-regulation was not associated with child BMI from 4.5 to 7.5 years. Conclusion: The findings highlight how the relationship between mothers and children during feeding can be bidirectional and potentially influenced by the developmental stage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric Obesity
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • childhood obesity
  • Hispanic
  • parent feeding
  • self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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