A biopsychosocial model of sex differences in children’s eating behaviors

Kathleen Loralee Keller, Samantha Kling, Bari Fuchs, Alaina L. Pearce, Nicole A. Reigh, Travis Masterson, Kara Hickok

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The prevalence of obesity and eating disorders varies by sex, but the extent to which sex influences eating behaviors, especially in childhood, has received less attention. The purpose of this paper is to critically discuss the literature on sex differences in eating behavior in children and present new findings supporting the role of sex in child appetitive traits and neural responses to food cues. In children, the literature shows sex differences in food acceptance, food intake, appetitive traits, eating-related compensation, and eating speed. New analyses demonstrate that sex interacts with child weight status to differentially influence appetitive traits. Further, results from neuroimaging suggest that obesity in female children is positively related to neural reactivity to higher-energy-dense food cues in regions involved with contextual processing and object recognition, while the opposite was found in males. In addition to differences in how the brain processes information about food, other factors that may contribute to sex differences include parental feeding practices, societal emphasis on dieting, and peer influences. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings, as they may have implications for the development of effective intervention programs to improve dietary behaviors and prevent obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number682
JournalNutrients
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

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Feeding Behavior
eating habits
gender differences
Sex Characteristics
Food
obesity
Obesity
Eating
gender
Cues
ingestion
dieting
eating disorders
peers
childhood
Neuroimaging
food intake
brain
Weights and Measures
energy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Keller, K. L., Kling, S., Fuchs, B., Pearce, A. L., Reigh, N. A., Masterson, T., & Hickok, K. (2019). A biopsychosocial model of sex differences in children’s eating behaviors. Nutrients, 11(3), [682]. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030682
Keller, Kathleen Loralee ; Kling, Samantha ; Fuchs, Bari ; Pearce, Alaina L. ; Reigh, Nicole A. ; Masterson, Travis ; Hickok, Kara. / A biopsychosocial model of sex differences in children’s eating behaviors. In: Nutrients. 2019 ; Vol. 11, No. 3.
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Keller, KL, Kling, S, Fuchs, B, Pearce, AL, Reigh, NA, Masterson, T & Hickok, K 2019, 'A biopsychosocial model of sex differences in children’s eating behaviors', Nutrients, vol. 11, no. 3, 682. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030682

A biopsychosocial model of sex differences in children’s eating behaviors. / Keller, Kathleen Loralee; Kling, Samantha; Fuchs, Bari; Pearce, Alaina L.; Reigh, Nicole A.; Masterson, Travis; Hickok, Kara.

In: Nutrients, Vol. 11, No. 3, 682, 01.03.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Keller KL, Kling S, Fuchs B, Pearce AL, Reigh NA, Masterson T et al. A biopsychosocial model of sex differences in children’s eating behaviors. Nutrients. 2019 Mar 1;11(3). 682. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030682