Longitudinal follow-up of temperament and nutrition risk in preschool children
CPS ePoster Library. Van den Heuvel M. 06/25/15; 99109; 46
Mathilda Van den Heuvel
Mathilda Van den Heuvel
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Abstract
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Background: Nutrition plays an essential role in the growth and development, school-readiness and well-being of children. Temperament is defined as constitutionally based individual differences in reactivity and self-regulation. While temperament tends to be relatively stable over time, there is evidence that links between early temperament and child health outcomes are malleable. Temperament is increasingly recognized as an early childhood behavioral risk factor, and may impact screen time use, outdoor play and childhood obesity. The relationship between temperament and child nutrition is however less clear.

Objective: The primary objective is to investigate if early temperament factors in preschool aged children are associated with later nutritional risk. The secondary objective is to examine the relationship between early temperament and later dietary intake.

Methods: Longitudinal data was collected through a pediatric primary care practice based research network (TARGet Kids!). At each visit nutritional risk was assessed with the total score of the Nutrition Screening Tool for Every Preschooler (NutriSTEP®) and its dietary intake subscale. In addition temperament was measured at each visit with the very short form of the Child Behavior Questionnaire including three domains: Negative Affectivity (e.g. discomfort, frustration), Effortful Control (e.g. inhibitory- and attentional control) and Surgency (e.g. impulsivity, activity).
Multivariate linear regression modelling was used to examine the effect of the three temperament domains with changes in total score of nutritional risk and dietary intake over time adjusted for the covariates age, gender, child z-BMI, neighborhood income, maternal education, parent BMI.

Results: 678 children were included (mean age at baseline 3.2 years, 49.6% male, mean follow-up 14 months) with a mean total NutriSTEP® score of 13.7 (SD 6.2) at follow-up. For each one point increase in effortful control at baseline (mean score 5.4 (SD 0.8)) there was a significant decrease in total nutritional risk score (adjusted β -0.67 (95%CI -1.06 - -0.28)) and a healthier dietary intake (adjusted β -0.53 (95%CI -0.79 - -0.26)) over time, independent of covariates. No relationship with surgency and negative affectivity was identified.

Conclusion: Early childhood temperament impacts later nutritional risk in preschool children. Interventions to promote early effortful control in young children may lead to reduced nutritional risk.
Background: Nutrition plays an essential role in the growth and development, school-readiness and well-being of children. Temperament is defined as constitutionally based individual differences in reactivity and self-regulation. While temperament tends to be relatively stable over time, there is evidence that links between early temperament and child health outcomes are malleable. Temperament is increasingly recognized as an early childhood behavioral risk factor, and may impact screen time use, outdoor play and childhood obesity. The relationship between temperament and child nutrition is however less clear.

Objective: The primary objective is to investigate if early temperament factors in preschool aged children are associated with later nutritional risk. The secondary objective is to examine the relationship between early temperament and later dietary intake.

Methods: Longitudinal data was collected through a pediatric primary care practice based research network (TARGet Kids!). At each visit nutritional risk was assessed with the total score of the Nutrition Screening Tool for Every Preschooler (NutriSTEP®) and its dietary intake subscale. In addition temperament was measured at each visit with the very short form of the Child Behavior Questionnaire including three domains: Negative Affectivity (e.g. discomfort, frustration), Effortful Control (e.g. inhibitory- and attentional control) and Surgency (e.g. impulsivity, activity).
Multivariate linear regression modelling was used to examine the effect of the three temperament domains with changes in total score of nutritional risk and dietary intake over time adjusted for the covariates age, gender, child z-BMI, neighborhood income, maternal education, parent BMI.

Results: 678 children were included (mean age at baseline 3.2 years, 49.6% male, mean follow-up 14 months) with a mean total NutriSTEP® score of 13.7 (SD 6.2) at follow-up. For each one point increase in effortful control at baseline (mean score 5.4 (SD 0.8)) there was a significant decrease in total nutritional risk score (adjusted β -0.67 (95%CI -1.06 - -0.28)) and a healthier dietary intake (adjusted β -0.53 (95%CI -0.79 - -0.26)) over time, independent of covariates. No relationship with surgency and negative affectivity was identified.

Conclusion: Early childhood temperament impacts later nutritional risk in preschool children. Interventions to promote early effortful control in young children may lead to reduced nutritional risk.
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