Canterbury, New Zealand, Eating and Feeding Study

Dr. Galloway collaborated with researchers in New Zealand, (Drs. Suzanne Pitama and Paul Watson) to understand the use of child feeding practices by New Zealand families. Parental feeding practices that involve controlling children’s food intake, such as restricting the type of food a child eats, or pressuring a child to eat, have been shown to impact the development of children’s eating behavior. In theory, parental use of controlling feeding practices impacts child weight and eating behavior by desensitizing children to their internal cues of satiety, making them less able to self-regulate their intake of food. Most research in this area comes from studies in the US or UK with participants from middle or upper class families The purpose of the current study is to examine relationships among children’s economic deprivation, their caregivers’ feeding practices and perceptions of child eating behaviors, and child weight change in early childhood. We also examined how ethnicity might be related to these variables by comparing Maori and non-Maori participants. This study is unique because it includes a compelling measure of economic hardship in NZ and focuses on weight change in early childhood, which is typically an understudied age.


Galloway, A. T., Watson, P., Pitama, S., & Farrow, C. V. (2015, March). Economic deprivation, parental feeding practices, and child eating behaviors predict weight change in Canterbury, New Zealand. Poster to be presented at the Society for Research in Child Development. 2015 Annual Convention, Philadelphia, PA.