Caregiver influences on eating behaviors in young children:A scientific statement from the American Heart Association


A substantial body of research suggests that efforts to prevent pediatric obesity may benefit from targeting not just what a child eats, but how they eat. Specifically, child obesity prevention should include a component that addresses reasons why children have differing abilities to start and stop eating in response to internal cues of hunger and satiety, a construct known as eating self‐regulation. This review summarizes current knowledge regarding how caregivers can be an important influence on children's eating self‐regulation during early childhood. First, we discuss the evidence supporting an association between caregiver feeding and child eating self‐regulation. Second, we discuss what implications the current evidence has for actions caregivers may be able to take to support children's eating self‐regulation. Finally, we consider the broader social, economic, and cultural context around the feeding environment relationship and how this intersects with the implementation of any actions. As far as we are aware, this is the first American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement to focus on a psychobehavioral approach to reducing obesity risk in young children. It is anticipated that the timely information provided in this review can be used not only by caregivers within the immediate and extended family but also by a broad range of community‐based care providers.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Applied Health Research Group
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Uncontrolled Keywords: AHA Scientific Statements,appetite regulation,caregivers,child,pediatric obesity,preschool,satiation,Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
Publication ISSN: 2047-9980
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.aha ... JAHA.119.014520 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-05-18
Published Online Date: 2020-05-11
Accepted Date: 2019-06-03
Authors: Wood, Alexis
Blissett, Jacqueline (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-0275-6413)
Brunstrom, Jeffrey
Carnell, Susan
Faith, Myles
Fisher, Jennifer
Hayman, Laura
Singh Khalsa, Amrik
Hughes, Sheryl
Miller, Alison
Momin, Shabnam
Welsh, Jean
Woo, Jessica
Haycraft, Emma



Version: Accepted Version

| Preview


Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

| Preview

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record