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In The British journal of nutrition

Parental practices can affect children's weight and body mass index and may even be related to a high prevalence of obesity. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between parents' practices related to feeding their children and excess weight in preschoolers in Bucaramanga, Colombia, using artificial intelligence as an analytical and novel approximation. A Cross-sectional study was carried out between September and December 2017. Sample included preschoolers who attended child development institutions belonging to the Colombian Institute for Family Wellbeing (Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF, Spanish acronym)) in Bucaramanga and the metropolitan area (sample size n=384). Outcome variable was excess weight, defined as body mass index for age. Main independent variable was parental feeding practices. Confounding variables that were analyzed included sociodemographic characteristics, food consumption, and the physical activity of the children. All equipment used for the anthropometric measurements was calibrated. Logistic regression was used to predict the effect of parental practices on the excess weight of the children, and the area under the curve (AUC) was used to measure performance. The parental practices with the greatest association with excess weight in the children involved using food to control their behavior and restricting the amount of food they offered (use of food to control emotions (OR: 1.77; CI 95%: 1.45- 1.83, p=0.034) and encouraging children to eat less (OR: 1.22; CI 95%: 1.14 - 1.89; p= 0.045)). There were no significant differences between fathers and mothers in terms of the use of food to control the behavior of their children or restricting their children's food consumption. Childrearing practices related to feeding were found to be an important predictor of excess weight in children. The results of this study represent implications for the public health considering this as a baseline for the design of nutrition education interventions focused on parents of preschooler vulnerable children.

Gamboa-Delgado Edna Magaly, Amaya-Castellanos Claudia Isabel, Bahamonde Antonio


Child Care, Health Behavior, Health Education, Nutrition, Obesity