Abstract P257: Feeding Styles and Childhood Obesity in Rural Appalachia
Researching mechanisms for treating childhood obesity is necessary for preventing associated health risks. One mechanism of change may be parental feeding styles, which may promote overweight in children. Permissive feeding style (high responsiveness, low demands) may result in child’s eating behaviors of eating quickly or being a picky eater. Authoritarian feeding style (high demands, low responsiveness) may result in children having control issues around food. Authoritative feeding styles (high demands and responsiveness) are characterized by appropriate eating behaviors. The goal of this study is to explore health outcomes of parenting styles.
Procedure Data was collected via questionnaire from 2008-2010 CARDIAC Kindergarten, 2nd, 5th and 8th grade parents after participating in a statewide school-based health screening.1252 parents participated out of 8135 (15.4%) eligible parents.
Parenting style questions resulted in 4 parenting styles: disengaged (6.8%), permissive (32.7%), authoritarian (4.2%), and authoritative (56.2%). Parent and Child Nutrition items were developed from USDA guidelines that include daily intake of fruits and vegetable subgroups of dark green, orange, legumes, and other vegetables. CDC epi info software calculated age and gender adjusted Body Mass Index (BMI) percentiles.
Results 50.6% of the students were female, 93.8% Caucasian, 30.3% overweight or obese. Parenting style was associated with parent (p = .003), and child nutrition (p = .002); Figure 1. Specifically, authoritative differed from disengaged (p = .02 for parent, p = .01 for child) and permissive styles (p = .06 for parent, p = 0.01 for child). There was an effect of mean rank for BMI percentile across parenting styles (p = .047); children with permissive parents tended to be heavier than those with authoritative (p = .043).
Discussion Improved outcomes among authoritative parents compared to permissive parents may suggest a venue for intervening on changeable parental behaviors in order to improve child health outcomes.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.