Maternal attitude to sweet eating habits and risk of overweight in offspring: a ten-year prospective population study

I Lissau, L Breum, T I Sørensen

41 Citations (Scopus)


The possible effect of maternal attitude to sweet eating habits on their offspring's risk of overweight is a common concern. This study addresses the influence of mothers' reports on and attitude to sweet eating habits on the subsequent risk of overweight of their offspring in young adulthood. A study of a randomly selected cohort of 9-10 year old children from schools in the Copenhagen municipality was performed in 1974. A decade later a follow-up was carried out, and 86% of the target population participated. Overweight was defined as the 90th percentile of body mass index distribution (weight/height2 (kg/m2)). The odds ratio of overweight in young adulthood was assessed by logistic regression analysis taking into account body mass index in childhood, gender and social background (both parents' school education, householder's occupational status, and quality of dwellings in childhood rearing areas). The results showed that the risk of overweight was significantly increased if the mother reported lacking knowledge about her offspring's sweet eating habits (OR = 4.5; 95% confidence limits: 1.7-12.1; P = 0.003). The risk was insignificantly increased if the mothers expressed acceptance of sweet eating habits (OR = 1.9; 0.8-4.2; P = 0.1), and if more than an average amount of money was given for sweets (OR = 2.0; 1.0-3.8; P = 0.06). On the other hand, how often the child was actually allowed to eat sweets, and the mother's acceptance of sugary food did not significantly influence the risk.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders : journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)125-9
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1993


  • Attitude to Health
  • Body Mass Index
  • Candy
  • Child
  • Female
  • Food Habits
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Gain
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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