To examine the relation between preschoolers' eating behaviors and body mass index (BMI) z-scores (BMIz) and the moderating role of permissive parent feeding styles in these associations.Design:
Cross-sectional study involving mothers' report of food-related parenting styles and child eating behaviors.Setting:
Small city in southern Mississippi.Participants:
Mother–preschooler dyads (n = 104).Main Outcome Measure:
Child body BMIz.Analysis:
Moderated multiple regression.Results:
An uninvolved feeding style moderated the relationship between emotional eating and BMIz such that children with higher emotional overeating scores had higher a BMIz in the presence of an uninvolved feeding style (B = 2.16; P = .01).Conclusions and Implications:
An uninvolved feeding style may be a risk factor for higher BMIz in preschoolers who tend to overeat to cope with negative emotions. For other children in this population, self-regulatory aspects of eating may be more important than mothers' feeding style in the maintenance of healthy weight.