The ‘Good Eater’ : modelling maternal perception of food fussiness in Australian toddlers – the NOURISH and SAIDI cohorts

Byrne, Rebecca, Magarey, Anthea, & Daniels, Lynne (2014) The ‘Good Eater’ : modelling maternal perception of food fussiness in Australian toddlers – the NOURISH and SAIDI cohorts. In 13th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 21-24 May 2014, San Diego, California. (Unpublished)

Abstract

Purpose

Food refusal is part of normal toddler development due to an innate ability to self-regulate energy intake and the onset of neophobia. For parents, this ‘fussy’ stage causes great concern, prompting use of coercive feeding practices which ignore a child’s own hunger and satiety cues, promoting overeating and overweight. This analysis defines characteristics of the ‘good eater’ using latent variable structural equation modelling and the relationship with maternal perception of her child as a fussy eater.

Methods

Mothers in the control group of the NOURISH and South Australian Infants Dietary Intake studies (n=332) completed a self-administered questionnaire - when child was age 12-16 months - describing refusal of familiar and unfamiliar foods and maternal perception as fussy/not fussy. Weight-for-age z-score (WAZ) was derived from weight measured by study staff. Questionnaire items and WAZ were combined in AMOS to represent the latent variable the ‘good eater’.

Results/findings

Mean age(sd) of children was 13.8(1.3) months, mean WAZ(sd), .58(.86) and 49% were male. The ‘good eater’ was represented by higher WAZ, a child that hardly ever refuses food, hardly ever refuses familiar food, and willing to eat unfamiliar foods (x2/df=2.80, GFI=.98, RMSEA=.07(.03-.12), CFI=.96). The ‘good eater’ was inversely associated with maternal perception of her child as a fussy eater (β=-.64, p<.05).

Conclusions

Toddlers displaying characteristics of a ‘good eater’ are not perceived as fussy, but these characteristics, especially higher WAZ, may be undesirable in the context of obesity prevention. Clinicians can promote food refusal as normal and even desirable in healthy young children.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

52 since deposited on 27 Oct 2014
22 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 78033
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: No
Keywords: Toddler, Food fussiness, Structural Equation Modelling
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 27 Oct 2014 00:49
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 00:49

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page