Submitted to: Annals of Behavioral Medicine
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2007
Publication Date: 3/1/2007
Citation: Jaramillo, S., Tsuei, E., Owens, B., Hughes, S., Nicklas, T., Shewchuk, R., Franklin, F. 2007. Feeding styles and overweight status in preschool [abstract]. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 33(Suppl):S083, No. 2313. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of parental feeding styles on the weight status of preschool children. Examining the overweight stats of 3- to 5-year olds is important because national data suggest that this is the age when children shift from normal weight to overweight. Feeding styles may impact this shift through parental behavior that fosters excess calorie intake in children. A feeding questionnaire was used to measure authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and uninvolved styles. A total of 718 low-income parents (134 African-Americans and 209 Hispanic from TX; 175 African-Americans and 200 Whites from AL) participated in the study. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the relationship between feeding styles, ethnicity, and overweight in children (defined as BMI of > 95th percentile). Odds ratios for overweight were calculated from Hosmer model. Using Hosmer and Lemershow’s test of model fit (divided by 2 = 5.49, p = 0.70), feeding style and ethnicity were significantly associated with overweight in children. Holding ethnicity constant, children with indulgent parents were almost twice as likely to be overweight, compared with children with authoritative parents (OR: 1.83; 95% CI: 1.07-3.13; p = .028). Holding feeding style constant, White parents in AL were two and half times as likely to have overweight children compared to African-American parents in TX (OR: 2.57; CI: 1.51-4.40; p = .001). Previous research among a predominantly White middle-class sample found that authoritarian parents were more likely to have overweight children compared to authoritative parents. In contract, our data from a low-income diverse sample suggests that parents who were indulgent were more likely to have overweight children compared to authoritative parents. Although research has shown that authoritarian parenting is associated with poorer child outcomes, our results suggest that this may not be consistent across income levels. A better understanding of how styles of parenting affect child overweight among different income levels is needed.