Indulgent Feeding Style Moderates the Association of Food Responsiveness to Body Mass Index Z-scores of Preschoolers

Adeyosola Oke, Marcela Vizcarra, Maria J. Stecher, Andiara Schwingel, Yanina Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To investigate the moderating role of caregiver feeding styles in the association between preschool children's food-approaching eating behaviors and body mass index (BMI) z-scores. Methods: This cross-sectional study examined 81 caregiver-preschooler dyads from low-income neighborhoods in Santiago, Chile. Moderated multiple linear regression analyses were used to determine the moderating effect of the indulgent feeding style in the relation between eating behaviors and BMI z-scores of preschool children. Results: The indulgent caregiver feeding style moderated the association between food responsiveness and BMI z-scores of preschoolers. In an indulgent feeding style, food responsiveness was associated with higher child BMI z-scores (β = 0.50; P < 0.001). There was no interaction between enjoyment of food and feeding styles in relation to children's BMI z-scores (β = 0.17; P = 0.58). Conclusions and Implications: An indulgent feeding style can be a risk factor for unhealthy weight outcomes in food responsive preschoolers, but not in those who enjoy food. Educating indulgent parents in the feeding context, and prioritizing children with food-approaching behaviors who are sensitive to external food cues may be effective for approaching childhood obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1034-1041
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • BMI
  • Latin America
  • child
  • eating behaviors
  • feeding styles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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