Eating Behaviors in Overweight Children of Binge Eating Mothers

by Ringham, Rebecca

Abstract (Summary)
Obesity has significant medical and psychosocial morbidity and is increasingly prevalent among children. Available evidence suggests that children report binge eating and maladaptive eating behaviors and attitudes, which may contribute to overweight. Further, maternal eating attitudes and behaviors may influence childrens eating and weight, yet little is known about the relationship among these variables. Thus, the current study investigated aberrant eating and its cognitive correlates in overweight children of mothers with binge eating problems. Sixty-eight mothers and their biological children were interviewed using the Eating Disorder Examination, adult (EDE) and child (ChEDE) versions, to assess binge eating and associated attitudes and behaviors. Participants also completed the Childrens Depression Inventory, EAS Temperament Survey, and a demographic questionnaire. Height and weight was measured in mothers and children to determine BMI (kg/m2). Mothers were on average, overweight (BMI = 32.71 + 7.83 kg/m2), 38 years old, and predominantly Caucasian (63%). Children were 9.5 years old (+ 1.4) and 63% were female. The childrens BMI ranged from 19.28 to 35.58 kg/m2 (M + SD; 26.66 + 3.65). Results indicated that 38% of overweight children reported recent loss of control over their eating, a feature related to binge eating in adults. Moreover, similar to findings in adults with BED, children with loss of control also endorsed more eating disorder cognitions and depression compared to children without loss of control (ps < .01). However, the percentage of children reporting loss of control over their eating did not differ in children of mothers with and without binge eating (50.0% versus 35.9%; ?2 (1, N = 53) = .85, p = .355. Secondary analyses utilizing continuous measures of mother and child aberrant eating supported a relationship between maternal and child aberrant eating, as well as relationships among child BMI, child depression, and child aberrant eating. In contrast, child temperament was not related to child aberrant eating in this sample of overweight children. Data from this study will contribute to future work examining factors related to the treatment and prevention of childhood overweight.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Melissa Kalarchian, Ph.D.; Catherine Greeno, Ph.D.; Stephen Manuck, Ph.D.; Marsha D. Marcus, Ph.D.; Anna Marsland, Ph.D.

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:09/29/2006

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