Prospective associations of eating behaviors with weight gain in infants

Academic Article


  • Objective To examine whether maternal reports of infant eating behaviors are stable over time and whether eating behaviors are prospectively associated with weight gain. Methods In an ongoing study of infant growth, weight and length were measured at 2 weeks, 3 months, and 5 months of age. Food responsiveness (FR), satiety responsiveness (SR), enjoyment of feeding (EF), and slow eating (SE) were assessed with the Baby Eating Behavior Questionnaire. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to examine changes in eating behaviors from 2 weeks to 5 months. Simple Pearson correlations examined associations among eating behaviors across time and associations of eating behaviors with subsequent change in weight-for-length z-scores. Results Among 31 infants studied from 2 weeks to 3 months, FR and SR remained consistent (P < 0.05), and among 21 infants studied from 3 to 5 months, FR, EF, and SE were consistent (P < 0.01). Infants ate more quickly (P < 0.01) and tended to have greater SR with age (P=0.09). Only SE at 3 months was associated with subsequent gain in weight-for-length (P < 0.05). Conclusions Consistent with previous research, SE was predictive of weight gain during infancy. Given that eating behaviors were largely consistent after 3 months of age, it may be important to encourage the development of healthy eating behaviors during early infancy.
  • Published In

  • Obesity  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Shepard DN; Chandler-Laney PC
  • Start Page

  • 1881
  • End Page

  • 1885
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 9