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The prevalence of obesity among children remains high. Given obesity’s significant lifelong consequences, there is great interest in preventing obesity early in life. There is a need to better understand the relation of common infant feeding styles and practices to obesity in infants using longitudinal study designs. There is also an urgent need to understand the role of caregivers other than mothers in feeding. A better understanding of variation in feeding styles and practices can inform the identification of risk groups and the tailoring of interventions to them.


In partnership with Early Head Start programs across four counties in southern California, mothers and infants will be enrolled in a two-year longitudinal study collecting survey and anthropometric data. A subsample of mothers and their selected other caregivers will participate in qualitative research involving feeding diaries and dyadic interviews. The results will be used to develop and test an enhanced nutrition education program.


We outline a study methodology to examine feeding styles and practices and their association with early childhood obesity risk and enhance an existing intervention to promote healthy infant feeding and growth among children in low-income families.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.