The effects of maternal feeding practices on childhood obesity: A meta-analysis

Date

2021-12

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Abstract

The proposed study is a meta-analysis examining the relationship between maternal feeding practices and child weight outcomes in young children. Previous research has shown findings to be mixed regarding the effects that parental feeding practices have on child BMI. Furthermore, these relationships appear dependent on child age differences, family ethnicity/racial differences, and study design. Articles were searched using seven electronic databases from the beginning of time until present. The inclusion criteria for studies in the current meta-analysis include but are not limited to: participants are of preschool and school-age, an outcome of the study is BMI (i.e., BMI percentile, BMI z-score), the study examines maternal feeding practices, the study includes outcomes for individual feeding practices rather than combined or overall practices, and the outcomes of the study report direct association and relationships between maternal feeding practices and weight outcomes. This meta-analysis examined how maternal feeding practices impact child BMI while considering child age, ethnicity/race focus, and study design. A mixed-effects model was used to estimate effect sizes for the outcomes. Overall effect sizes for the analyzed independent variables, monitoring (r = 0.022), pressure to eat (r = -0.148), and restriction (r = 0.099) were very small for cross-sectional studies. Further, overall effect sizes for the analyzed independent variables, monitoring (r = -0.074), pressure to eat (r = 0.115), and restriction (r = -0.017) were also very small for longitudinal studies. Due to lack of power, moderators were only assessed for cross-sectional data. Although some of the hypotheses of this meta-analysis were supported, it appears results continue to be mixed when taking study characteristics into consideration.

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Keywords

Parenting, Obesity

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