Child-feeding practices of Indian and Australian-Indian mothers

Jani, Rati, Mallan, Kimberley M., Mihrshahi, Seema, & Daniels, Lynne (2014) Child-feeding practices of Indian and Australian-Indian mothers. Nutrition & Dietetics, 71(4), pp. 276-283.

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Child-feeding practices may be modifiable risk factors for childhood obesity; however investigation of feeding practices in non-Western populations is scarce. This cross-sectional study examines feeding practices of affluent Indian mothers with children aged 1-5 years residing in Australia and Mumbai, India. The secondary aim was to study the association between maternal and child characteristics and feeding practices.


In Australia 230 and in Mumbai 301 mothers completed either a hardcopy or online questionnaire. Self-reported maternal feeding practices (restriction, monitoring, pressure to eat, passive and responsive feeding) were measured using established scales and culturally-specific items.


Mothers in both samples were equally likely to use non-responsive feeding practices, namely dietary restriction, pressure and passive feeding. Similarly, at least 50% of mothers in both samples did not feed their child responsively (mother decides what and the child decides how much to eat). The only difference observed after controlling for covariates (mothers’ age, BMI, religion, education, questionnaire type, child’s age, birth place, gender, number of siblings, and weight-for-age (WAZ) scores) was that mothers in the Australian sample used higher levels of dietary monitoring (β= 0.2, P= 0.006). Mothers with a higher BMI (OR: 0.84, CI: 0.89-0.99, p=0.03) and following Hinduism (OR: 0.50, CI: 0.33-0.83, p=0.008) were less likely to feed responsively.


These results suggest that Indian mothers in both the samples may benefit from interventions that promote responsive child-feeding practices.

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ID Code: 74475
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: feeding practices, Indians, acculturation, Australia, Mumbai
DOI: 10.1111/1747-0080.12146
ISSN: 1747-0080
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100) > Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified (111199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Dietitians Association of Australia
Deposited On: 29 Jul 2014 01:23
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2015 18:26

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