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Abstract The aims of the current study were to (1) identify dietary patterns in 3-year-old children; (2) investigate the extent to which negative affectivity, external parental locus of control and control-oriented child-feeding practices (pressure to eat and restriction) relate to these dietary patterns; and (3) to examine to what extent external parental locus of control and control-oriented child-feeding practices serve as mediators for these effects. This study was part of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, comprising 14 122 mothers completing assessments at 6 months, 18 months and 3 years post-partum. Factor analysis of the children's diet identified two weakly correlated dietary patterns, labeled 'unhealthy' and 'wholesome'. Mothers high in negative affectivity perceived they had little control over their child's behaviour, which in turn was associated with both pressuring their child to eat and restricting the child's food intake and a less wholesome and a more unhealthy diet in the child. Pressuring the child to eat was independently associated with a less wholesome and a more unhealthy diet. Restricting the child's diet was associated with a more wholesome and a less unhealthy diet. These findings held after controlling for maternal smoking, education, age, body mass index, marital status, homemaker status and child gender.
Division of Mental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Maternal & child nutrition
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