Research: VOLLRATH and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 192

Abstract

VOLLRATH and COLLEAGUES, Department of Psychosomatics and Health Behavior, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway. margarete.vollrath@fhi.no investigated whether infants' temperament at 18 months is associated with the feeding of foods and drinks that may increase the risk for later obesity.

Background

This study investigated whether infants' temperament at 18 months is associated with the feeding of foods and drinks that may increase the risk for later obesity.

Methodology

This was a cross-sectional study of mothers and infants (N = 40 266) participating in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Data were collected by questionnaire. Predictor variables were: infants' temperament at 18 months (internalizing, externalizing, and surgency/extraversion), and mothers' negative affectivity. Outcome variables were feeding of sweet foods, sweet drinks, and night-time caloric drinks at 18 months (all dichotomized). Confounders were child's gender, weight-for-height at 1 year, breastfeeding, and mother's level of education.

Results

After controlling for confounders, infant temperament dimensions at 18 months were significantly associated with mothers' feeding of potentially obesogenic foods and drinks independent of mothers' negative affectivity. Infants who were more internalizing were more likely to be given sweet foods (OR 1.47, CI 1.32-1.65), sweet drinks (OR 1.76, CI 1.56-1.98), and drinks at night (OR 2.91, CI 2.54-3.33); infants who were more externalizing were more likely to be given sweet food (OR 1.53, CI 1.40-1.67) and sweet drinks (OR 1.22, CI 1.11-1.34); and infants who were more surgent were more likely to be given drinks at night (OR 1.66, CI 1.42-1.92).

Conclusion

The association between infant temperament and maternal feeding patterns suggests early mechanisms for later obesity that should be investigated in future studies.

References

Vollrath ME, Tonstad S, Rothbart MK and Hampson SE. Infant temperament is associated with potentially obesogenic diet at 18 months. Source International Journal of Pediatric Obesity. 6(2-2):e408-14. Jun 2011. Other ID Source: NLM. NIHMS292035 [Available on 06/01/12] Source: NLM. PMC3128685 [Available on 06/01/12]

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