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Maternal personality affects child's eating habits
Date:4/3/2009

children's eating habits will be useful for health personnel and others who give nutritional advice.

"People with a lot of negative affectivity often express worry and appear to be helpless and insecure. Research into this type can help to create a toolbox of advice to relieve the feeling of stress and lack of coping and improve the child's diet. Unfortunately we could not study the fathers, but it is likely that this also applies to them. Men with a lot of negative affectivity often express this in the form of anxiety or anger, but otherwise the characteristics are identical between the sexes."

Independent of sociodemographic factors

Research results were also controlled for the following sociodemographic factors; the child's sex, smoking, child attending nursery, education, mother's age, mother's BMI, number of children, income and marital status. These data were collected from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway at the NIPH. None of them explained the effect that the mother's negative affectivity had on the child's diet.

"Or, to put it another way, the impact of sociodemographic variables on children's eating habits was unaffected by the mother's personality traits," says Ystrm.

- Mothers who smoked daily, had a high BMI, had many children, had male child / children who went to nursery were less likely to give them a healthy diet.

- If the mothers were daily smokers, with a high BMI and/or many children, there was a greater chance that they would give their children an unhealthy diet.

- However, if mothers had a higher education and/or were older, they were more likely to give their children healthier food.

First study of 18 month old children's nutritional patterns

As well as being the first study to compare a child's diet with psychological and sociodemographic factors in the mother, this is also the first time that nutritional patterns in such young children are studied. <
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Contact: Julie Johansen
julie.johansen@fhi.no
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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