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Nutrition and Food Sciences


We explored the influence of immigrant mothers feeding style on their children's fruit, vegetable and whole grain intake and how this relationship differed by mother's time in the U.S. Baseline data were collected on mother-child (3–12 yrs) dyads enrolled in Live Well (n = 313), a community-based, participatory, randomized controlled lifestyle intervention (2008–2013). Socio-demographics, years of residence in the U.S., behavioral data, and responses to the Caregiver's Feeding Styles Questionnaire (CFSQ) were obtained from the mother. Measured heights and weights were obtained for both mother and child. Child dietary intake was assessed using the Block Food Screener. Separate multiple linear regression models were run, adjusting for child and mother covariates. Interactions between feeding styles and years in the U.S. (<5 and ≥ 5 years), ethnicity, and child age were tested. Sixty-nine percent of mothers were overweight or obese, 46% of the children were overweight or obese. For mothers in the U.S. for < 5 years, having a low demanding/high responsive style was associated with lower child intake of whole grains in adjusted models vs. a high demanding/high responsive style (p < 0.05). This was not seen for mothers in the U.S. for ≥ 5 years. Thus, the influence of feeding style on dietary intake may change with length of time in the U.S. These hypotheses-generating findings call for future research to understand how broader socio-cultural factors influence the feeding dynamic among immigrants.

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