Relationships among child eating behaviors and household food insecurity in youth with obesity

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19 Scopus citations


Background: Food insecurity may trigger eating behaviors that contribute to pediatric obesity. The aim of this study is to identify eating behaviors among a pediatric population with obesity and household food insecurity. Methods: A cross-sectional study analyzed Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire (CEBQ) and household food insecurity screener responses, and BMI measurements from pediatric participants with obesity (BMI ≥95th percentile) from a weight management clinic between 2013 and 2017. Multivariate linear regression was performed to evaluate associations between CEBQ eating domains [Food Responsiveness, Emotional Overeating, Enjoyment of Food, Desire to Drink (DD), Satiety Responsiveness, Slowness in Eating, Emotional Undereating (EUE), and Food Fussiness] and household food insecurity, adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, SNAP participation, and BMI percentile. A sub-group analysis was performed on participants from food insecure (FI) households to evaluate the associations between SNAP participation and eating domains. Results: Eight hundred twenty-Two participants were included in the final analysis. Participants from FI households had significantly higher BMI percentiles even after adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and SNAP status (p = 0.000). Household food insecurity was associated with increased DD beverages (p = 0.000). Among participants from FI households, SNAP participation was significantly positively associated with the EUE (p = 0.009). Conclusions: Youth from FI households have higher BMIs even among a population with obesity. DD is positively associated with household food insecurity and may contribute to obesity in this population. Results suggest that providers treating pediatric patients with obesity should consider regularly screening for household food insecurity and associated eating behaviors as part of their medical management of obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-305
Number of pages8
JournalChildhood Obesity
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • eating behaviors
  • food insecurity
  • pediatric obesity

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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