Background

Stable and continuous appetitive traits have been measured in children and adults using the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) and Adult Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (AEBQ) respectively, they have never been measured in mother-child dyads. Both the CEBQ and the AEBQ have shown associations with Body Mass Index (BMI) z-scores (BMI-z) and BMI. The aim of the study was to identify the associations between appetitive traits and BMI-z in children and BMI in the mothers.

Methods

A sample of 855 mother-child dyads who attended the paediatric outpatient’s department at the “Nuevo Hospital Civil” in Guadalajara, México, were weighed and measured and sociodemographic measurements obtained. Mothers completed the Mexican version of the CEBQ and the AEBQ. Spearman correlations between appetitive traits and BMI were tested for the dyads.

Results

47.4% of the children were female with and average age of 8.5±2.5 years and an average BMI-z 1.5±1.6; 13% were obese. Mothers were on average 34.8 (±6.9) years old, 61% had primary or secondary level of education; and an average BMI of 29.7 (±6.1); 44% were obese. Positive correlations were shown in children between Food Responsiveness, Emotional Over-Eating, and Enjoyment of Food and BMI-z in Children, but only Emotional Over-Eating and BMI in mothers (p<0.01). Negative correlations were observed for Satiety Responsiveness and Slowness in Eating and BMI-z in children (p<0.01) and Slowness in Eating and BMI in mothers (p<0.05).

Conclusions

Both mothers and children showed positive associations with food onset and negative associations with food offset appetitive traits and BMI, which could potentially inform weight loss interventions in mother-child dyads.