Sweetened Food Purchases and Indulgent Feeding Are Associated With Increased Toddler Anthropometry

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To explore the role of feeding practices and food purchases in toddler dietary intake and anthropometry.


A convenience sample of Latino mother and toddler pairs were interviewed at baseline and at 6-month follow-up. Data on feeding practices, toddler dietary intake, anthropometry, and food purchases were collected using the Toddler-Feeding Questionnaire; 24-hour recalls; measurements of weight, height, and/or length; and food purchase receipts.


Indulgent feeding scores and high intake of sweetened beverage were associated with a 0.52 increase (P = .03) and 0.46 increase in toddler weight-for-height z-score (P = .05), respectively. Households with 10 percentage points of more sweetened food and beverage expenditures were associated with increases in weight indicator z-scores.

Conclusions and Implications:

Indulgent feeding, high intake, and purchase of sweetened beverage are associated with weight gain in Latino toddlers. Programs should target food purchasing decisions and provide concrete guidance for the division of responsibility around feeding.

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