Associations of parental food-choice control and use of food to soothe with adiposity in childhood and adolescence

Shiau Y. Chong, Catherine R. Chittleborough, Tess Gregory, John W. Lynch, Murthy N. Mittinty, Lisa G. Smithers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


AbstractBackground Associations of parental feeding techniques with adiposity are mixed and largely rely on cross-sectional studies. We examined associations between parental food-choice control and using food to soothe at 3.5 years on adiposity at 7 and 15 years. Methods Participants were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 7312). Food-choice control was assessed using the item ‘how much choice do you allow him/her in deciding what foods he eats at meals?’. Use of food to soothe was reported by mothers on the item ‘how often do you use sweets or other foods to stop his/her crying or fussing?’. BMI at 7 and 15 years was converted to sex- and age-adjusted z-scores. Fat mass was assessed at 15 years using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Results In fully-adjusted models, children given the least choice had 0.08 lower BMI z-score at age 7 years and 0.12 lower BMI z-score,1.46 kg lower fat mass at 15 years than children with the most choices. There was no evidence of an association between using food to soothe and adiposity. Conclusions Contrary to some studies, higher parental control over food choice was associated with lower adiposity, but use of food to soothe was not associated with adiposity at ages 7 and 15.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date16 Feb 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2017


  • Food-choice control
  • Food to soothe
  • Adiposity


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