Purpose of Review
To provide scientific evidence showing links between parenting/feeding, child eating, and weight status and recommend best practices for creating a feeding environment protective against childhood obesity.
Current research shows that authoritative styles in both feeding and general parenting contexts has been consistently associated with better child health outcomes. Authoritative feeding styles have been associated with better child dietary quality and weight. Indulgent feeding styles have been associated with problematic child eating behaviors and higher weight. Authoritative general parenting styles have predicted healthier child weight status overtime.
Highly controlling feeding behaviors in the form of parental styles or practices hinder development of healthy eating in children. It is more productive to study styles of feeding as opposed to practices as feeding styles show less variability in predicting child health outcomes. Areas that warrant further research are identified and recommendations of beneficial feeding behaviors are provided.
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Conflict of Interest
Sheryl O. Hughes received financial compensation from Danone Institute International for a presentation given at a conference in Argentina.
Maria A. Papaioannou declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
All reported studies with human subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Maternal and Childhood Nutrition
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Hughes, S.O., Papaioannou, M.A. Maternal Predictors of Child Dietary Behaviors and Weight Status. Curr Nutr Rep 7, 268–273 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13668-018-0250-1