Obesogenic food consumption among young children: the role of maltreatment

Dylan B. Jackson, Michael G. Vaughn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To determine whether children exposed to a greater variety of acts of parent-to-child physical and psychological maltreatment will be at greater risk of consuming obesogenic foods at a higher frequency.Design Survey research using a longitudinal panel design.Setting In-home interviews with primary caregivers in twenty large US cities.Participants A national sample of at-risk children and their families who participated in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS).Results Child maltreatment emerged as a statistically significant (P<0·01) and robust predictor of obesogenic food consumption, in both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Child maltreatment also consistently emerged as one of the strongest predictors of obesogenic food consumption in these models. Ancillary analyses indicated that physical maltreatment plays a particularly important role in these associations.Conclusions A major implication of the present study is that child maltreatment prevention efforts should be reflected in interventions that seek to diminish unhealthy eating practices among children. Multi-professional teams can work together on obesity prevention not only via education but also by considering the interconnectedness of obesogenic food consumption and experiences of maltreatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1840-1849
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Authors 2019.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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