Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition
The prevalence of obesity in children of Latin American and Caribbean countries (LAC) has increased, becoming a public health priority while undernutrition is decreasing. Associations between caregiver’s feeding practices (FP) and feeding styles (FS) with child BMI and/or overweight/obesity (OW/OB) have been reported in developed countries, but little is known in LAC. This review synthesizes the existing evidence on the associations between caregiver’s FP and FS with weight status of 2-to-12-year-old children in LAC.
The study eligibility criteria included 2-to-12-year-old children and their parents/caregivers; LAC/nationality; Child weight status (CWS) as main outcome; peer-reviewed publications; and articles in English or Spanish. Keywords and MESH terms involving FS and FP, childhood stage, and CWS were used to search in PubMed. The key words were adjusted to search until March 2018 in the Web of Science, PsycINFO, and CINAHL. Titles and abstracts of the articles were screened against the selection criteria. Two researchers independently screened titles and abstracts and conducted the retrieval. A full-text-evaluation was conducted on potentially relevant papers.
Among 1237 articles identified, 25 were full-text revised and 6 were finally selected. Among the 6 articles, 5 were cross-sectional and 1 was case-control. The studies were conducted in Chile, Mexico and Brazil and involved self-report measures of FP and FS. 5 studies reported a positive association between restrictive parental feeding and higher child BMI z-score or higher likelihood of being OW/OB. While 1 study found pressure to eat negatively associated with child BMI z-score, 1 study found uninvolved and indulgent FS associated with higher child BMI.
Restrictive feeding, and indulgent and uninvolved FS have been linked to heavier weight or higher risk of being OW/OB in children of LAC. The research of the associations between FP and FS with CWS is scarce and limited to three countries. In addition, most studies are cross-sectional, which does not permit to establish the direction of the effect. Therefore, longitudinal studies are needed to improve understanding of causal relations and stability of FP and FS; finally, studies involving observations to compare with self-report measures of FP and PS are also needed.
Funding Sources : CONICYT Becas Chile Grant number 72170608