Paper Authors and Title

Sinéad Nic Sheoin (Technological University Dublin), John Kearney, “The relationship between parents and their preschool child’s eating behaviours and BMI: A secondary analysis of the national preschool nutrition survey”


Several studies have established a relationship between parental and children’s eating behaviours. This study aimed to assess this relationship using data from the National Preschool Nutrition Survey (NPNS).

The NPNS contained 500 participants aged 1-4 (259 males, 241 females). This analysis investigated the correlation between parental eating behaviour and that of their children. Data was collected on the children using the Children’s Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) and the adults Food Neophobic Scale (FNS), along with other information from NPNS questionnaires.

The study revealed a predominantly high socioeconomic status among participating families, with 62% in Professional/Managerial/Technical employment and 82.6% having attained third-level education. There were significant positive associations between the child’s BMI and their CEBQ score (p= 0.004) along with child’s age and the child’s food fussiness score (p = <0.001). In relation to parental eating behaviour and the relationship with the child, there was a statistically significant correlation between the parent’s FNS score and the child’s CEBQ score (p=0.010), and an association between child’s FF score and the parental education level (p = 0.044). A weak positive correlation was found between the BMI of the parent and their child (p =0.005, r=0.129).

Results from this study found a relationship between parental neophilia and their children’s eating behaviour and food fussiness suggesting that parental eating behaviour can impact that of their children. Future research is necessary to understand the complexity of eating behaviours and their development during childhood focusing on creating healthier habits to reduce diet-related diseases and obesity rates.


Download and view Sinéad Nic Sheoin’s poster.


Download and view Sinéad Nic Sheoin’s slides.