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Revista chilena de nutrición

On-line version ISSN 0717-7518


NAZAR, Gabriela et al. Parental attitudes and feeding practices: A scoping review. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2020, vol.47, n.4, pp.669-676. ISSN 0717-7518.


In the last years, there has been an exponential increase in childhood obesity rates worldwide. Although eating behavior depends on multiple factors, there is agreement on the impact of socio-environmental aspects in which the family has a central role. Identifying the influence of parents and caregivers on child eating behavior can help to generate effective strategies for controlling obesity, especially at early stages.


To review recent scientific evidence on the association between parental feeding attitudes and practices, eating behavior and nutritional status of the child.


Narrative review of 40 empirical articles published between 2011 and 2019.


Parents tend to underestimate body weight in overweight children. Weight concern and pressure to eat are associated with the nutritional status of the child. Restrictive feeding and the use of food for instrumental purposes and as a mean of controlling emotions, would not be effective practices, possibly because they interfere with the child's ability to self-regulate intake. Positive practices included monitoring, modelling healthy eating patterns and creating non-obese environments.


Consistent findings support the notion that coercive practices could have negative effects on child eating behavior. Moreover, practices that promote structured and a positive environment could be more functional. However, international evidence is consistent in the relevance of parents and caregivers in promoting healthy eating behavior and the nutritional status of children.

Keywords : Child obesity; Feeding behavior; Parental feeding practices; Restrictive diet; Weight perception.

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