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Prospective associations of parental smoking, alcohol use, marital status, maternal satisfaction, and parental and childhood body mass index at 6.5 years with later problematic eating attitudes

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • K. H. Wade
  • O. Skugarevsky
  • Michael S. Kramer
  • Shital R. Patel
  • Natalia Bogdanovich
  • K Vilchuck
  • N Sergeichick
  • R. Richmond
  • Tom Palmer
  • George Davey Smith
  • M. Gillman
  • Emily Oken
  • R. M. Martin
Article numbere100
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Nutrition and Diabetes
Number of pages8
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date6/01/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


BACKGROUND: Few studies have prospectively investigated whether early-life exposures are associated with pre-adolescent eating attitudes.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to prospectively investigate associations of parental smoking, alcohol use, marital status, measures of maternal satisfaction, self-reported parental body mass index (BMI) and clinically measured childhood BMI, assessed between birth and 6.5 years, with problematic eating attitudes at 11.5 years.

METHODS: Observational cohort analysis nested within the Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial, a cluster-randomised trial conducted in 31 maternity hospitals and affiliated polyclinics in Belarus. Our primary outcome was a Children's Eating Attitudes Test (ChEAT) score 22.5 (85th percentile), an indicator of problematic eating attitudes. We employed multivariable mixed logistic regression models, which allow inference at the individual level. We also performed instrumental variable (IV) analysis using parents' BMIs as instruments for the child's BMI, to assess whether associations could be explained by residual confounding or reverse causation.

SUBJECTS: Of the 17 046 infants enrolled between 1996 and 1997 across Belarus, 13 751 (80.7%) completed the ChEAT test at 11.5 years.

RESULTS: In fully adjusted models, overweight children at age 6.5 years had a 2.14-fold (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.82, 2.52) increased odds of having ChEAT scores 85th percentile at age 11.5 years, and those who were obese had a 3.89-fold (95% CI: 2.95, 5.14) increased odds compared with normal-weight children. Children of mothers or fathers who were themselves overweight or obese were more likely to score 85th percentile (P for trend 0.001). IV analysis was consistent with a child's BMI causally affecting future eating attitudes. There was little evidence that parental smoking, alcohol use, or marital status or maternal satisfaction were associated with eating attitudes.

CONCLUSION: In our large, prospective cohort in Belarus, both parental and childhood overweight and obesity at 6.5 years were associated with pre-adolescent problematic eating attitudes 5 years later.