Feeding behaviour and appetite in young children with non-organic failure to thrive
The study reported in this thesis was aimed at investigating taste preferences and caloric compensation in one to two year old children with non-organic failure to thrive (FTT) as compared to normally developing children of the same age. The sample studied included 28 cases with non-organic FTT, and 28 controls with normal growth. The study comprised two experiments. The first tested the child's relative preference for sucrose sweetened solutions versus water. The test session included six 60 second presentations of tastant at three levels of concentration n i.e. water, 0.2 Mol sucrose solution, and 0.4 Mol sucrose solution, with at least 30 second intervals between presentations. The second experiment measured caloric compensation, by testing the child's intake from a standard meal on two occasions, after a pre-load of no-calorie or high-calorie drink. In addition meal time behavioural observations were made, and information about the child’s feeding history was obtained from parent reports. All children regardless of whether they were failing to thrive or not preferred 0.2 Mol sucrose solution to 0.4 Mol sucrose and to water. The energy intake of children with FTT was lower than that of controls, and meal-time behaviours showed some differences between groups in both the child and parent behaviours. Unlike the controls the FTT children showed no caloric compensation, but showed a trend towards the opposite of compensation. Analysis of growth data showed that FTT in the sample studied was present from birth.