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Feeding of preschool children in Vietnam: a study of parents’ practices and associated factors

Journal article
Authors Loan Minh Do
Toan Khanh Tran
Bo Eriksson
Max Petzold
Henry Ascher
Published in BMC Nutrition
Volume 1
Pages article number: 16
ISSN 2055-0928
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Social Medicine unit
Centre for Applied Biostatistics
Pages article number: 16
Language en
Subject categories Public health science


Background Understanding parents’ feeding control practices and their associations with various factors is useful for prevention of childhood obesity, an emerging problem in low- and middle-income countries. The aim of this paper is to describe the control practices used by parents of preschool children in Vietnam and factors associated with these. Methods Two cross-sectional studies were conducted in urban DodaLab (n = 1364) and rural FilaBavi (n = 1313), Health and Demographic Surveillance Sites (HDSS), Hanoi, Vietnam. For 94.9 % of the children, both parents answered the Child Feeding Questionnaire and additional questions about nutritional practices. Children’s and parents’ weight and height were measured. Simple Pearson correlation coefficients, multiple regression and exploratory factor analysis were used for the statistical analysis. Results Mothers reported the use of more restriction, pressure to eat and monitoring than the fathers. The measured child’s body mass index (BMI) and the mother’s perception of the child’s weight were negatively associated with pressure to eat and positively associated with monitoring. A positive association was found between restriction and the mother’s perception of the child’s weight. In the rural area, high consumption of fatty food, sweets and snacks was associated with high use of restriction and monitoring. The amount of food consumed was negatively associated with the use of pressure to eat. In the urban area, consumption of fatty food and sweets was positively correlated both with restriction and pressure to eat. Monitoring was negatively associated with consumption of fatty food and snacks and positively with the amount of food. Higher education of the mothers was associated with higher use of monitoring, restriction (in the urban area) and pressure to eat (in the rural area). Conclusions While feeding practices in Vietnam differed between mothers and fathers and between urban and rural areas, the associations with children’s BMI and socioeconomic factors were weak. This implies that parental roles as well as sociodemographic factors should be considered when designing programs for prevention of childhood overweight and obesity.

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