Feeding problems in nursery children: Prevalence and psychosocial factors

G. Esparó, J. Canals, C. Jané, S. Ballespí, F. Viñas, E. Domènech

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    25 Citations (Scopus)


    Aim: In this study we analyze the prevalence of feeding problems in a sample of nursery children and examine the environmental and psychopathological factors related to such problems. Methods: We used the Early Childhood Inventory - Parents Checklist to assess 851 Spanish children aged between 3 and 6 years from both urban and rural samples. This screens emotional and behavioural problems and is based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV. We collected sociodemographic data and information about life events and the psychopathology of the children's parents (General Health Questionnaire-28). Results: Our results showed that the prevalence of feeding problems was 4.8% and that there were no differences between gender. Sample subtype, socioeconomic level and family characteristics were not linked to feeding problems. Children with feeding problems had significantly more symptoms of psychological problems and somatic complaints and had experienced more life events in the previous 12 months. The psychopathology of the mother, especially in terms of anxiety problems, increased the risk of feeding problems in children. Conclusion: When there are complaints of feeding problems in preschools, the psychological problems of children and their mothers should be taken into consideration during paediatric consultation, irrespective of gender or socioeconomic status.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)663-668
    JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2004


    • ECI-4
    • Epidemiology
    • Feeding disorders
    • GHQ-28
    • Preschool


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