Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Pressuring and restrictive feeding styles influence infant feeding and size among a low-income African-American sample†
Article first published online: 16 APR 2013
Copyright © 2012 The Obesity Society
Volume 21, Issue 3, pages 562–571, March 2013
How to Cite
Thompson, A. L., Adair, L. S. and Bentley, M. E. (2013), Pressuring and restrictive feeding styles influence infant feeding and size among a low-income African-American sample. Obesity, 21: 562–571. doi: 10.1002/oby.20091
- Issue published online: 16 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 16 APR 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 24 OCT 2012 09:15AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Received: 10 NOV 2010
- NIH/NICHD. Grant Number: 5-R01 HD042219-02
- Interdisciplinary Obesity Training Center, UNC-Chapel Hill. Grant Number: NIH T32 MH075854
- Nutritional Epidemiology Core of the Clinical Nutrition Research Center at UNC. Grant Number: DK56350
- Carolina Population Center. Grant Number: NICHD 5 R24 HD050924
The prevalence of overweight among infants and toddlers has increased dramatically in the past three decades, highlighting the importance of identifying factors contributing to early excess weight gain, particularly in high-risk groups. Parental feeding styles and the attitudes and behaviors that characterize parental approaches to maintaining or modifying children's eating behavior are an important behavioral component shaping early obesity risk.
Design and Methods:
Using longitudinal data from the Infant Care and Risk of Obesity Study, a cohort study of 217 African-American mother-infant pairs with feeding styles, dietary recalls, and anthropometry collected from 3 to 18 months of infant age, we examined the relationship between feeding styles, infant diet, and weight-for-age and sum of skinfolds.
Longitudinal mixed models indicated that higher pressuring and indulgent feeding style scores were positively associated with greater infant energy intake, reduced odds of breastfeeding, and higher levels of age-inappropriate feeding of liquids and solids, whereas restrictive feeding styles were associated with lower energy intake, higher odds of breastfeeding, and reduced odds of inappropriate feeding. Pressuring and restriction were also oppositely related to infant size with pressuring associated with lower infant weight-for-age and restriction with higher weight-for-age and sum of skinfolds. Infant size also predicted maternal feeding styles in subsequent visits indicating that the relationship between size and feeding styles is likely bidirectional.
Our results suggest that the degree to which parents are pressuring or restrictive during feeding shapes the early feeding environment and, consequently, may be an important environmental factor in the development of obesity.