Children engage in faster eating as a result of impulsiveness, increasing obesity risk

According to researchers at the University of Buffalo and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, children who eat slower are at a lower risk of impulsiveness, with those who eat faster encountering those problems.

As published in Pediatric Obesity, the study involved 28 participants, examining the relationship between temperament and eating behaviors among them in early childhood.

“The aim of this exploratory report was to examine the associations between three eating behaviors and three facets of temperament among 4- to 8-year-olds with or at risk for obesity,” researchers wrote in their findings.

“Among 28 participants in a family intervention to reduce eating speed, we found at baseline that slower child eating speed was associated with less surgency (r = −.39, p = .04) and higher food responsiveness was associated with higher negative affect (r = .40, p = .03).”

“This study established relationships between temperament and eating patterns in children; however, there is still the question of chicken-and-egg and which comes first?”

The research was funded by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

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