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Intergenerational transmission of appetite: Associations between mother-child dyads in a Mexican population.

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Hunot-Alexander, Claudia 
Curiel-Curiel, Carmen Patricia 
Romero-Velarde, Enrique 
Vásquez-Garibay, Edgar Manuel 
Mariscal-Rizo, Alethia 


The Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) and the Adult Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (AEBQ) measure 'food approach' [Food responsiveness (FR); Emotional overeating (EOE); Enjoyment of food (EF); Desire to Drink] and 'food avoidant' [Satiety responsiveness (SR); Emotional undereating (EUE); Food fussiness (FF); Slowness in eating (SE)] appetitive traits (ATs) in children and adults, respectively. 'Food approach' traits predispose to overweight while 'food avoidance' traits provide protection, but little is known about the relationships between parents' and their offspring's ATs. The aim was to examine the associations between maternal and child appetitive traits, using the AEBQ-Esp and CEBQ-Mex adapted for use in Mexican populations. Sociodemographic data, weights and heights of mothers and their children (aged 3-13 years), who were recruited from a teaching hospital in Guadalajara, Mexico, were measured. Mothers completed both the AEBQ-Esp and the CEBQ-Mex. The CEBQ-Mex was developed, and its reliability was tested using Cronbach's alpha and Omega, and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was used to assess its validity. Pearson's correlation coefficients were used to assess associations between mothers' and children's Ats. The sample included 842 mother-child dyads (mother's mean age = 34.8±SD6.9 years, BMI 29.7±6.1 kg/m2; children's mean age = 8.5 ±SD2.5 years, BMIz 1.5±1.6). Internal reliability was moderate to high [Cronbach alpha = .68-.86; Omega = .71-.87] for the CEBQ-Mex and validity was confirmed for an 8-factor model through CFA [RMSEA = 0.065; CFI = 0.840, NFI = 0.805; IFI = 0.842; and χ2(df = 532) = 2939.51, p < 0.001]. All but one of the children's appetitive traits showed small to moderate, significant correlations with their mother's counterpart [FR (r = .22; p<001); EOE (r = .30; p < .001); EF (r = .15; < .001); SR (r = .16; p < .001); EUE (r = .34; p < .001) and FF (r = .14; p < .001). Only SE was not significantly associated with maternal SE (r = .01; p>.05). ATs tend to run in families, signalling the intergenerational transmission of eating behaviours. These may be useful targets for family-wide interventions to support the development and maintenance of healthy eating behaviours in childhood.


Funder: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tenología


Adult, Appetite, Body Mass Index, Child, Child Behavior, Feeding Behavior, Female, Humans, Hyperphagia, Mexico, Mother-Child Relations, Reproducibility of Results, Surveys and Questionnaires

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PLoS One

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Public Library of Science (PLoS)
MRC (MC_UU_00006/5)
Medical Research Council (MR/T002700/1)