Submitted to: International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/3/2006
Publication Date: 7/13/2006
Citation: Bounds, W., Connell, C., Nettles, M.F., Lofton, K. 2006. The relationship between maternal chld feeding practices and children's weight status in a Head Start population [abstract]. Proceedings of International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. p. 179. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between maternal child feeding practices and children’s weight status in a sample of Head Start mothers and children. There has been a lack of research addressing these relationships in low-income minority populations. Methods: Participants in this cross-sectional study included 281 mothers who were primarily African American (84%), with a mean age of 27.4 years. Mothers completed the weight concern, restriction, and pressure to eat subscales of the Child Feeding Questionnaire. Children’s measured height and weight were obtained from Head Start records, and their weight status was classified as underweight, normal weight, at risk of overweight, or overweight based on current Center for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. Multivariate analysis of covariance was used to determine if mothers’ child feeding practices differed depending on children’s weight status, when controlling for demographic factors. Results/findings: Mothers of overweight children expressed more concern about their children’s weight than did mothers of underweight children (p=.02) or normal weight children (p=.003). Mothers of overweight children also practiced more restriction in their child feeding practices than did mothers of underweight children (p=.009) or mothers of children classified as at risk of overweight (p=.043). Conclusions: Although mothers of overweight children were concerned about their children’s weight status, results suggest that responding to this concern by promoting greater dietary restriction of children’s food intake may not be productive strategy for the prevention or management of childhood overweight.