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ORIGINAL RESEARCH article

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.695388

Shared Dynamics of Food Decision-Making in Mother-Child Dyads Provisionally accepted The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon. Notify me

  • 1University of Missouri–Kansas City, United States
  • 2University of Kansas Medical Center, United States

This study explored risk parameters of obesity in food decision-making in mother-child dyads. We tested 45 children between 8-12 years and their biological mothers to measure the decision weights of food health attributes, the decision weights of food taste attributes, self-regulated food decisions, and self-reported self-control scores. Maternal body mass index (BMI), and children’s BMI-percentiles-for-age were also measured. We found a positive correlation between children’s and their mothers’ decision weights of taste attributes in food decision-making. We also found a positive correlation between children’s BMI %iles and their mothers’ BMIs. Children with overweight/obesity demonstrated lower decision weights of health attributes and a lower percentage of self-regulated food decisions (i.e., resisting to eat tasty but unhealthy foods or choosing to eat not-tasty but healthy foods) than children with healthy weight. Our findings suggested that the decision weights of taste attributes and weight status shared similar patterns in mother-child dyads. Also, the findings suggested that establishing dynamics of unhealthy food-decision making may increase the risk of childhood obesity. Helping children to develop the dynamics of healthy food-decision making by increasing the importance of health while decreasing the importance of taste may promote resilience to susceptibility to unhealthy eating and weight gain.

Keywords: eating decisions, weight status, eating behavior, Children, Mother-Child Dyad, Obesity

Received: 14 Apr 2021; Accepted: 12 Jul 2021.

Copyright: © 2021 Ha, Bruce, Killian, Davis and Lim. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Seung-Lark Lim, University of Missouri–Kansas City, Kansas City, United States, limse@umkc.edu