Poor infant inhibitory control predicts food fussiness in childhood - A possible protective role of n-3 PUFAs for vulnerable children

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2015 Jun;97:21-5. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2015.03.004. Epub 2015 Apr 3.


Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) children are more impulsive towards a sweet reward and have altered feeding behavior in adulthood. We hypothesized that early life inhibitory control predicts feeding behaviors later on in childhood, and the consumption of n-3 PUFAs during infancy may protect IUGR children from developing problematic feeding behaviors. 156 children had information on the Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire (ECBQ) at 18 months, Food Frequency Questionnaire at 48 months and Children׳s Eating Behavior Questionnaire (CEBQ) at 72 months. There was a significant negative correlation between inhibitory control at 18 months and food fussiness at 72 months. A GLM model predicting food fussiness at 72 months showed significant interaction between n-3 PUFAs, inhibitory control and IUGR, with higher intakes associated with decreased risk for fussiness in IUGR children with poor inhibitory control. Deficits in early inhibitory control predict later food fussiness, and higher intakes of n-3 PUFAs in infancy may protect IUGR children from developing such behavior later.

Keywords: Child; Fussiness; Inhibitory control; Intrauterine Growth Restriction; n-3 PUFAs.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology*
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / physiopathology
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / prevention & control
  • Food Preferences / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Time Factors


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3