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Title: A mealtime observation study : obesity, ethnicity and observed maternal feeding styles
Author: Wilson, Sarah Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 9899
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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The escalating trend of childhood obesity within genetically stable populations indicates that environmental, and therefore modifiable, factors must be contributing. Infancy (when parents largely determine child-feeding), has been highlighted as a critical time for the development of maladaptive eating behaviours. Despite interest in early interventions, there is no research on child-feeding styles from UK non-white communities. Born in Bradford (BiB) aims to identify factors that contribute to differences in health outcomes between people in South Asian (S. Asian) and European origin. This birth cohort provides a valuable opportunity to explore feeding interactions that may contribute to risk of obesity in a bi-ethnic sample. The current study recruited thirty eight mother-child dyads, according to maternal weight status and ethnicity and observed them during a typical mealtime. A range of positive and negative interactions were coded using the Mealtime Observation Schedule (MOS, Sanders & LeGrice, 1993). Data was also collected regarding mealtime organisation. Observed interactions were compared to mother‟s self-reports on questionnaire assessments of feeding, parenting styles and infant characteristics. The differences found between the mealtimes of obese and healthy weight mothers were limited compared to the differences observed between S. Asian and non-Asian mothers. Obese mothers were observed to use a greater amount of positive eating comments. They were most likely to report Indulgent parenting, whereas healthy weight mothers were most likely to report Authoritarianism. This difference was not observed in the mealtime interactions. There were several differences between S. Asian and non-Asian mothers in both the meal structures and mother-child interactions. S. Asian mothers used negative parenting behaviours more frequently, and less positive behaviour. In the healthy weight S. Asian group, this was paralleled by greater levels of negative child behaviour. Both maternal and child age also influenced these outcomes. Differences in mealtime interactions may contribute to differences in obesity rates across different ethnicities. However, research regarding parenting styles is mostly based on white European samples. It is argued that current measures are not culturally appropriate for S. Asian families living in the UK. More research is needed in order to develop culturally appropriate interventions regarding child feeding.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available