Do preschool children understand what it means to "diet," and do they do it?

Shayla C. Holub, Dara R. Musher-Eizenman, Anna V. Persson, Laura A. Edwards-Leeper, Sara Goldstein, Amy Barnhart Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The current study determined what preschool children understand about dieting and the extent to which they report engaging in dieting behaviors. Method: Forty-two children (mean age = 5.2 years) were interviewed about their understanding of the word "diet" and about food restraint behaviors. Children's height and weight were recorded. Results: Only 17% of the children provided an accurate definition of the word diet (i.e., an answer having to do with the foods a person eats). None of the children mentioned weight loss in their definition. Children reported occasional use of restraint behaviors. Girls and heavier children reported more use of restraint. Discussion: Children did not have a clear understanding of the word diet. Thus, the use of the word diet should be avoided when assessing eating behaviors in preschool children. Individual differences in reported dieting behaviors were in the expected directions, suggesting validity in these reports and early emerging social pressures to diet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-93
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2005

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Preschool Children
Diet
Food
Feeding Behavior
Individuality
Weight Loss
Pressure
Weights and Measures

Keywords

  • Dieting behaviors
  • Preschool children
  • Restraint behaviors

Cite this

Holub, S. C., Musher-Eizenman, D. R., Persson, A. V., Edwards-Leeper, L. A., Goldstein, S., & Miller, A. B. (2005). Do preschool children understand what it means to "diet," and do they do it? International Journal of Eating Disorders, 38(1), 91-93. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.20143
Holub, Shayla C. ; Musher-Eizenman, Dara R. ; Persson, Anna V. ; Edwards-Leeper, Laura A. ; Goldstein, Sara ; Miller, Amy Barnhart. / Do preschool children understand what it means to "diet," and do they do it?. In: International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2005 ; Vol. 38, No. 1. pp. 91-93.
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Holub, SC, Musher-Eizenman, DR, Persson, AV, Edwards-Leeper, LA, Goldstein, S & Miller, AB 2005, 'Do preschool children understand what it means to "diet," and do they do it?', International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 91-93. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.20143

Do preschool children understand what it means to "diet," and do they do it? / Holub, Shayla C.; Musher-Eizenman, Dara R.; Persson, Anna V.; Edwards-Leeper, Laura A.; Goldstein, Sara; Miller, Amy Barnhart.

In: International Journal of Eating Disorders, Vol. 38, No. 1, 01.07.2005, p. 91-93.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Goldstein, Sara

AU - Miller, Amy Barnhart

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