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Potential early-life predictors of dietary behaviour in adulthood: a retrospective study
journal contributionposted on 22.01.2016, 12:04 by Jeffrey M. Brunstrom, Gemma Witcomb, T.S. Baguley
OBJECTIVE: Unnecessary dietary restraint (ie in the absence of a need to lose weight) and chronic overeating are both very unhealthy activities. As a precursor to a more involved longitudinal study, we sought to identify potential early-life predictors that merit scrutiny in this context. DESIGN: Four retrospective questionnaire studies were conducted (Study 1, N¼242; Study 2, N¼297; Study 3, N¼175; Study 4, N¼261). Female participants (18–30 y) completed measures of current dietary restraint and overeating. They also recalled experiences between 5 and 10 years of age. All were staff or students at Loughborough University (UK). RESULTS: After considering obvious sources of systematic bias, we report evidence that (i) dietary restraint is related to memories of maternal weight and dietary behaviour, and (ii) overeating and meal-size selection are both associated with memories of receiving a high-energy diet. CONCLUSION: The role of maternal factors in dietary restraint is consistent with previous research exploring the early onset of this behaviour. However, the relationship between childhood diet and overeating has not been suggested elsewhere. This is particularly important because it suggests a previously unreported correspondence between childhood experience and behaviours associated with obesity in adulthood.
This work was funded by a BBSRC grant (reference: D15238).
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences