Problematic Eating Behaviour in Turkish Children Aged 12-72 Months: Characteristics of Mothers and Children.

Problematic eating behaviour in Turkish children aged 12-72 months: characteristics of mothers and children.

Cent Eur J Public Health. 2012 Dec; 20(4): 257-61
Orün E, Erdil Z, Cetinkaya S, Tufan N, Yalçin SS

The aim of this study was to determine prevalence of problematic eating behaviour (PEB), associated risk factors, feeding practices including place of meal, variety of diet, and habits of consuming junk food, the mothers’ perception of the child growth status in comparison to his/ her peers, and the effects on anthropometric measurements.This study was carried out among children aged 12-72 months who attended the outpatient clinic in the Ihsan Dogramaci Children’s Hospital between February-June 2007. Three hundred and thirty-one mothers of children were asked to complete an extensive questionnaire covering socio-demographic characteristics and their child’s general eating behaviour and feeding practices at mealtimes. Children with PEB were identified based on their mothers’ statements.Three hundred and thirty-one cases were 3.32 +/- 1.39 years old. One hundred thirty-five mothers reported having a child with PEB. The mothers described the children’s problematic behaviour as: need to walk around with the child during mealtime (45.6%), watching TV during meals (41.9%), picky or fussy eating (39%), vomiting and/or retching (25.7%), retaining food in the mouth for a long time (20.6%), and not eating solid foods (11.8%). In children who had ate neither meat nor vegetables and fruits, took cod-liver oil-containing supplement during the course of the study, and had taken iron supplements in the first year of life, PEB was more frequent than in others. The mean z scores of weight for age (WAZ) were significantly lower in cases with PEB than without PEB.Counselling and supporting of the mother/caregiver could alleviate the effect of inappropriate solutions taken by families. Insistence on composing of the diet variety including especially vegetables, fruits and meat may be promoted by provision of alternative cooking/presentation samples to mothers of children who refuse some foods. Pediatricians should be alerted that lower WAZ values may be a warning indicating a problem which may cause stagnated growth in children with PEB. HubMed – eating