This study evaluated maternal restriction of children's access to snack foods as a predictor of children's intake of those foods when they were made freely available. In addition, child and parent eating-related "risk" factors were used to predict maternal reports of restricting access. Participants were 71, 3-to-5-year-old children (36 boys, 35 girls) and their parents. Children's snack food intake was measured immediately following a meal, in a setting offering free access to palatable snack foods. Child and maternal reports of restricting children's access to those snack foods were obtained. In addition, information on child and parent adiposity as well as parents' restrained and disinhibited eating was used to examine "risk" factors for restricting access. For girls only, child and maternal reports of restricting access predicted girls' snack food intake, with higher levels of restriction predicting higher levels of snack food intake. Maternal restriction, in turn, was predicted by children's adiposity. Additionally, parents' own restrained eating style predicted maternal restriction of girls' access to snack foods.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.