To help address why a staggering 26 per cent of 2 to 17 year olds are overweight or obese in Canada, researchers examined four- and five year olds' avoidance or approach behaviours to food and their relationship with body weight.
To investigate, they recruited 1730 Canadian children into the study - an equal mix of boys and girls, and four and five year-olds.
Kids were classified according to body weight status and parents were asked to complete the UK-developed Children's Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ), which has been used in European studies to establish the relationship between food behaviours and body weight in children.
Parents were given a list of statements relating to how their child responded to food, for example, "My child loves food," or "My child eats more when worried" and asked if or to what extent the behaviour occurred.
The results of the two-year study were in line with what researchers had anticipated. They found significant differences between the children in different weight status groups for food responsiveness, emotional over-eating, enjoyment of food, satiety responsiveness, slowness in eating, and food fussiness.
For instance, children who demonstrated approach behaviours were more likely to be overweight whereas children who demonstrated avoidance behaviours (such as fussy or slow eating) were more likely to be underweight.
Researchers are continuing to follow the children, who are now seven and eight years old to examine the long-term effects of their food behaviour and attitudes.
The study was published in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.