British Journal of Nutrition

Research Article

Parental feeding style, energy intake and weight status in young Scottish children

Colette Montgomerya1, Diane M. Jacksona2, Louise A. Kellya1 and John J. Reillya1 c1

a1 University of Glasgow Division of Developmental Medicine, Yorkhill Hospital, Glasgow G3 8SJ, Scotland, UK

a2 Division of Energy Balance and Obesity, Rowett Research Institute, Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB21 9SB, Scotland, UK


Parental feeding style, as measured by the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ), may be an important influence on child feeding behaviour and weight status in early to mid childhood, but more evidence on parental feeding style is required from samples outside the USA. We aimed to use the CFQ in a sample of 117 Scottish children (boys n 53, girls n 64 mean age 4·6 (sd 0·5) years) to: characterise gender differences and changes over time (in forty of the 117 children studied over 2 years); test associations between parental feeding style, free-living energy intake (measured over 3 days using the multiple pass 24-h recall), and weight status (BMI sd score). No dimensions of parental feeding style changed significantly over 2 years in the longitudinal study (P>0·05 in all cases). No aspects of parental feeding style as measured by the CFQ differed significantly between the sexes (P>0·05 in all cases). Parental perceptions of child weight status were generally significantly positively correlated with child weight status as measured by the BMI sd score. In this sample and setting, measures of parental control over child feeding were generally not associated with child energy intake or weight status.

(Accepted August 25 2006)

(Received May 24 2006)

(Revised August 21 2006)


c1 * Corresponding author: Prof. John J. Reilly, fax +44 141 201 9275, email


Abbreviations: CFQ, Child Feeding Questionnaire