Objective: The aim of our study is to assess the nutritional patterns of the study and the control group while addressing the affecting factors to find out the correlations with anthropometric measurements. The study group consists of 2-6-years-old children who were brought to the hospital for refusing to eat and the control group is composed of children without feeding problems.
Methods: Between March 2014 and April 2015, 525 mother-child pairs who stated that their children had feeding problems were included in the study group; 450 mother-child pairs constituted the control group. The demographic and anthropometric characteristics of children were investigated, feeding behaviors were questioned as well. Feeding patterns such as keeping food in his mouth, trying to feed a child away from the table, distracting with television and toys during mealtime, feeding by frightening and coercive feeding were enquired.
Results: In the study group, 18.3% of the children were underweight, 68% were normal, 13.7% were overweight-obese. In the control group, these ratios were determined as 6.9%, 60.6%, and 32.5%, respectively. The frequency of problematic feeding patterns was high in both groups. The high percentage of overweight-obese children in the control group showed that their mothers did not consider this situation a problem. Moreover, it was observed that feeding problems were less frequent in children who had long periods of exclusive breastfeeding and that the paternal selective eating behavior affected negatively the child's nutrition.
Conclusion: Inappropriate feeding behaviors of children are frequent. It is important to evaluate nutritional patterns in early childhood in parallel with children's growth.
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