Eating behaviour in preschool children with various body weight

Оbjective. Assessment of differences in eating behaviour in preschool children with various body weight.

Patients and methods. The study included 342 children (177 girls and 165 boys) aged 1 to 7 years. Three groups were singled out: with normal body weight (healthy) – 285 (83%) children, with overweight – 30 (9%), and with obesity – 27 (8%) children. For comparative assessment of eating behaviour of children we questioned parents using CEBQ (Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire).

Results. The scale Food responsiveness (FR) was significantly (p = 0.008) more marked in both overweight and obese children: in healthy respondents this index was 1.75 (1.40–2.20), and in two other groups – 2.0 (1.40–2.80) and 2.40 (1.40–3.60), respectively. The scales Emotional over-eating (EOE) and Satiety responsiveness (SR) showed significant (p < 0.05) differences between healthy and obese children: 1.25 (1.0–1.75) vs 1.75 (1.0–2.50) and 3.60 (3.20–4.0) vs 3.20 (3.0–3.80) scores. Correlation analysis of the whole sample showed a significant (p < 0.05) positive correlation (r = 0.51) between между FR and EOE; in healthy children this parameter was 0.45 (correlations between other scales were significantly less). In overweight respondents the correlation between these scales was 0.69, and in the obese group – 0.74. In obese children also significant correlations between scales FR and EF (Enjoyment of food) were found (r = 0.79); between FR and DD (Desire to drink) (r = 0.51); between EOE and DD (r = 0.54); between EOE and SR (Satiety responsiveness) (r = –0.60). In healthy children, distances between scales in the cluster space are significantly more than in overweight and obese patients.

Conclusion. Eating behaviour of preschool children differs significantly in such aspects as «satiety responsiveness», «food responsiveness», «emotional over-eating». Obese preschool children have a decreased «satiety responsiveness»; they have both an enhanced interest to food and appetite against the emotional background. A high incidence of overweight preschool children, formation of disorders of eating behaviour with a risk for development of obesity in this period necessitate working out of preventive measures aimed at popularization of healthy nutrition, correction of eating behaviour that should begin in early childhood.

Key words: children, overweight, obesity, CEBQ (Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire), eating behaviour

For citation: Yuditskaya T.A., Girsh Ya.V. Eating behaviour in preschool children with various body weight. Vopr. dietol. (Nutrition). 2016; 6(1): 33–39.

DOI: 10.20953/2224-5448-2016-1-33-39