Caregiver Influences on Eating Behaviors in Young Children

Published: May 11, 2020

Mother and children eating meal in food bank soup kitchen
  • Eight percent of infants (0-2 y/o) and 23 percent of children (2-5 y/o) in the US suffer from excess adiposity. This reinforces a widely held view that cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention should begin in early childhood with a component aimed at reducing obesity.
  • Childhood obesity prevention efforts succeed best if they encompass behavioral dimensions of eating - collectively describing what, when and how much children eat. These dimensions are robust correlates of childhood weight status. 
  • This is the first AHA scientific statement to focus on a psycho-behavioral approach to reducing obesity risk in young children and to discuss the role of caregiver feeding behaviors in shaping a child’s eating behaviors.