Poster Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting

Relationships between parental feeding practices, infant weight concern, infant dietary behaviour and body weight: Findings from the Feeding A Baby (FAB) Study (#237)

Michelle Harrison 1 , Wendy Brodribb 1 , Peter SW Davies 1 , Julie Hepworth 2
  1. The University of Queensland, Herston, QUEENSLAND, Australia
  2. Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QUEENSLAND, Australia

Obesity is a global problem that is challenging to prevent and expensive to treat. While early childhood interventions show promise in establishing lifelong healthy eating patterns, better understanding of how parental feeding practices develop is needed. The Feeding A Baby (FAB) study aimed to investigate the determinants of maternal feeding practices in transitioning from milk feeds to family foods and their relationship to infant dietary behaviour and body weight. A questionnaire was completed by 290 Queensland mothers of infants aged between 6 and 12 months. Logistic regression was used to describe the association between maternal feeding practices (restriction, pressure, monitoring), infant weight concern (underweight, overweight) and infant dietary behaviours (consumption of breastmilk, solids, vegetables, fruit and takeaway). Correlation and linear regression were used to identify relationships between maternal feeding practices, infant weight concern and infant weight. Mothers were found to be more concerned about underweight than overweight, tended to misjudge infants as being underweight and fail to recognise overweight and obese infants. Pressure feeding practices were associated with underweight concern, lower infant weight, early introduction of solid foods and lower fruit and vegetable intake. Restrictive feeding practices were related to overweight concern. Given the inaccuracy of maternal infant weight perceptions and the controlling feeding practices associated with weight concerns, interpreting healthy growth should be a fundamental component of strategies to support healthy infant feeding practices.