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Association between Children’s Appetite Patterns and Maternal Feeding Practices

DOI: 10.4236/fns.2011.23032, PP. 228-234

Keywords: Appetite, Preschool Children, Feeding Practices

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Abstract:

This study explored associations between children’s appetites and maternal feeding practices. The participants, 614 parents of 3- to 6-year-old children from kindergartens in Tokyo, Japan, completed self-administered questionnaires. The children’s appetites were measured using the Enjoyment of Food (EF) and Food Responsiveness (FR) scales of the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire. Using cluster analysis, we examined three appetite patterns (“both low,” “high EF and low FR,” and “both high”). The three appetite patterns were associated with children’s obesity index. The “both low” pattern was associated with the highest maternal pressure to eat. The “high EF and low FR” patterns were related to an established snack time. The “both high” pattern was associated with higher maternal instrumental feeding compared with the “high EF and low FR” types. The results of this study will facilitate the development of targeted interventions and better parental guidance on maternal feeding practices and their association with children’s eating behaviours.

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