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Mothers’ negative affectivity during pregnancy and food choices for their infants

Abstract

Objective:

The objective of this study was to analyze whether maternal negative affectivity assessed in pregnancy is related with subsequent infant food choices.

Design:

The study design was a cohort study.

Subjects:

The subjects were mothers (N=37 919) and their infants participating in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Measurements:

Maternal negative affectivity assessed prepartum (Hopkins Symptom Checklist 5 (SCL-5) at weeks 17 and 30 of pregnancy), introduction of solid foods by month 3 and feeding of sweet drinks by month 6 (by the reports of the mothers) were analyzed.

Results:

Mothers with higher negative affectivity were 64% more likely (95% confidence interval 1.5–1.8) to feed sweet drinks by month 6, and 79% more likely (95% confidence interval 1.6–2.0) to introduce solid foods by month 3. These odds decreased to 41 and 30%, respectively, after adjusting for mother's age, body mass index (BMI) and education.

Conclusion:

The maternal trait of negative affectivity is an independent predictor of infant feeding practices that may be related with childhood weight gain, overweight and obesity.

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Acknowledgements

The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Health, NIH/NIEHS (Grant no. N01-ES-85433), NIH/NINDS (Grant no.1 UO1 NS 047537-01) and the Norwegian Research Council/FUGE (Grant no. 151918/S10). The contribution of Sarah E Hampson in the preparation of this article was partially supported by the Grant number AG20048 from the National Institute on Aging, USA.

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Correspondence to S E Hampson.

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Hampson, S., Tonstad, S., Irgens, L. et al. Mothers’ negative affectivity during pregnancy and food choices for their infants. Int J Obes 34, 327–331 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2009.230

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2009.230

Keywords

  • maternal feeding practices
  • negative affectivity
  • solid foods
  • sweet drinks

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