Navigation Links
Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
Date:2/10/2010

Both genetics and parents who comfort their infants with food are the focus of a study funded for $1 million by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestion and Kidney Disease investigating risk factors for childhood obesity. The grant is part of the National Institutes of Health American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.

"When the infant cries, parents typically have a set of soothing techniques they'll use to comfort their child -- if one doesn't work, they move to the next -- and somewhere on that list is feeding," said Cynthia Stifter, professor of human development and family studies and principal investigator on the project. "It may be, with some children, that using food as a means of soothing distress promotes the association of food with emotional comfort, a characteristic of emotional eaters that is associated with adult obesity."

One goal of Stifter's study is to provide a detailed description of how and when parents use feeding to soothe infants and its relation to weight gain in infancy. Rapid weight gain in infancy has been linked to childhood obesity.

"There has been much speculation about the role of food in parent soothing of infant distress, but there is no research," said Stifter. "What is known is that food, especially that containing sugar, has an immediate effect on infant distress and that many middle-income and lower-income mothers endorse using food to soothe an infant's distress."

To see how parents respond to their infants' distress, researchers will go with families to routine doctor appointments where infants receive vaccinations. These immunizations commonly cause distress. The researchers will also keep track of children's rate of weight gain and parents will complete a "daily diary," at five minute intervals for three days, recording whether their child fussed, cried, slept, was content or was fed. Parents will also participate in a number of laboratory visits to assess the infants' emotional reactivity and regulation, and a variety of interviews including one conducted by Penn State's Diet Assessment Center, which will examine the food environment -- meal location, the context in which food is eaten -- whether the child was crying or fell asleep after eating and child feeding practices -- whether food was offered to soothe the child.

Stifter will also look at the brain's natural reward system, which releases dopamine into the brain, producing a feeling of pleasure.

"Dopamine basically makes you want more of something," says Stifter.

Dopamine in the brain is associated with nicotine, alcohol and other addictions. Stifter and her colleagues will consider food as the object of an addiction for certain individuals. They will draw upon previous research pinpointing a set of genes that determine a person's dopamine system activity. Certain individuals may be genetically predisposed to be more sensitive to their brain's reward system.

"We are hypothesizing that the parenting practice of feeding to soothe, or the use of food to soothe infant distress not related to hunger, may interfere with the development of the ability to read internal cues of hunger and fullness, which, in certain children with sensitive dopamine systems, may lead to increased energy intake, rapid weight gain in infancy, and subsequent childhood obesity," said Stifter.

No previous studies have examined parent feeding style in infancy and genetics as precursors to childhood obesity.


'/>"/>

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. The Ultimate Stress Reliever, SpaCapsule(R), the Capsule that Takes You on a Rejuvenating Journey to the Spa, Retains TransMedia Group for Soothing PR
2. Honey Beats Meds at Soothing Kids Cough
3. Using Music to Ease the Pain of Labor; New CD Featuring Celine Dion, Norah Jones, Provides Soothing Songs for Delivery
4. The Chopra Center for Wellbeing Introduces Ayurnas: A Soothing Natural Remedy for Sinus Congestion, Chronic Headaches, and Cold Symptoms
5. Soothing Songs Please the Heart
6. Breakthroughs in Eye Care Products Offer Fresh Approach for Soothing Eyes
7. Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
8. Nicotine in breast milk disrupts infants sleep patterns
9. Shaking may cause brain damage and serious long-term effects to infants
10. Maternal depression and controlling behavior associated with increased stress response in infants
11. Repeat steroids to premature infants linked to cerebral palsy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... 01, 2017 , ... Financial Recovery Group, Inc. (FRG), is proud to announce ... Nashville, Tenn. The company also is offering a special discount for those who attend ... year, brings together the brightest minds in the healthcare industry to share information on ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... March 01, 2017 , ... Look for a new collection of ... and Drift Roses. Star Roses and Plants is launching their new Bushel and ... Bushel and Berry Collection makes growing fresh fruit simple with a variety of easy-to-grow, ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... , ... March 01, 2017 , ... On January 27, ... Firm, filed a civil sex abuse lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, ... have only been identified by their initials. See L.B. and T.B. v. Seventh-Day Adventist ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... , ... March 01, 2017 , ... Award-winning medical group ... 25 medical mission trips in underdeveloped nations, averaging more than one trip per year ... article on the website features the details of his charitable work. Char ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... 2017 , ... NYC based Integrated practice Living Well Medical, a long time ... of Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Donald E. Heitman. Dr. Heitman is a native ... Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He then obtained his medical degree from New ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/28/2017)... 28, 2017 Persistence Market Research in ... Debridement Product Market 2016-2024," offers insights into developments ... North America that are significantly ... the overall market performance has been taken into ... focuses on developing different products to retain market ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... Intraocular Lens Market: Overview Read the full report: ... ... / opaqueness of the natural lens of the eye, which ... permanent loss of vision. Intraocular Lens is a type of ... Cataract is considered as one of the most common eye ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... , Feb. 28, 2017 The global gynecology surgical ... 2021 from USD 1.73 billion in 2016, at a CAGR ... ... http://www.reportlinker.com/p04734938-summary/view-report.html Major factors contributing to the growth ... diseases, increasing awareness on gynecological diseases, and rising government investments ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: