Potential early-life predictors of dietary behaviour in adulthood: a retrospective study

JM Brunstrom, GL Mitchell, TS Baguley

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

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Unnecessary dietary restraint (ie in the absence of a need to lose weight) and chronic overeating are both very unhealthy activities. As a precursor to a more involved longitudinal study, we sought to identify potential early-life predictors that merit scrutiny in this context. Four retrospective questionnaire studies were conducted (Study 1, N=242; Study 2, N=297; Study 3, N=175; Study 4, N=261). Female participants (18–30 y) completed measures of current dietary restraint and overeating. They also recalled experiences between 5 and 10 years of age. All were staff or students at Loughborough University (UK). After considering obvious sources of systematic bias, we report evidence that (i) dietary restraint is related to memories of maternal weight and dietary behaviour, and (ii) overeating and meal-size selection are both associated with memories of receiving a high-energy diet. The role of maternal factors in dietary restraint is consistent with previous research exploring the early onset of this behaviour. However, the relationship between childhood diet and overeating has not been suggested elsewhere. This is particularly important because it suggests a previously unreported correspondence between childhood experience and behaviours associated with obesity in adulthood.
Translated title of the contributionPotential early-life predictors of dietary behaviour in adulthood: a retrospective study
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463 - 474
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

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