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Observational Study of Parental Feeding Practices to Improve Child's Food Intake and Weight Status

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Michigan State University Identifier:
First received: January 31, 2012
Last updated: February 1, 2012
Last verified: January 2012


A topic of interest in the etiology of child obesity is if and how parental feeding behaviors are associated with child food intake and weight status.


The objective was to explore if and how directive (overt) and non-directive (covert and food environmental structure) types of parental feeding control were associated with children's food intake and weight status.


This was a cross-sectional, exploratory study using structural equation modeling to determine directional associations between maternal feeding practices and their child's food intakes and weight status. Researchers collected data from 330 dyads of 3-5yr children and mothers participating in a federal preschool program for low-income families (Head Start) in Michigan. Mothers' feeding practices (directive and non-directive control), children's food intakes, height and weight of both mothers and children were measured. Structural equation models tested the relationships between maternal feeding practices, the child's food intake and weight status.


  1. Child weight is negatively associated with parents' directive feeding control practices.
  2. Less directive control or greater non-directive control is associated with healthier food intakes in children.

Obesity Feeding Behaviors

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Ecologic or Community
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: The Relationship of Parental Feeding Control Practices to Food Intake of 3-5Yr Children in Families With Limited Incomes

Further study details as provided by Michigan State University:

Enrollment: 660
Study Start Date: September 2009
Study Completion Date: February 2010
Primary Completion Date: September 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Ages Eligible for Study:   3 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Low income mother and preschool children participating national school readiness program, HeadStart.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Dyads of child (3-5yrs) and the primary female caregiver
  • Participating Head Start program in central Michigan

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Children with disability except speech disorders
  • Caregivers younger than 18 years old
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01525186

Sponsors and Collaborators
Michigan State University
Principal Investigator: Sharon L Hoerr, PhD Michigan State University
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Michigan State University Identifier: NCT01525186     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: MSUIRB 09-451
Study First Received: January 31, 2012
Last Updated: February 1, 2012

Keywords provided by Michigan State University:
Food intakes
Feeding processed this record on August 18, 2017