Table 1: Modifiable feeding and related practices associated with overweight or obesity in infants through preschool age children.

Feeding and related practicesDirection of association to overweight or obesity in infants through preschool age children

Rate of weight gain during infancy Rate of weight gain, increased weight for length, BMI, or measurements of adiposity during the first 2 years have been positively associated to BMI and/or adiposity during the preschool years [13, 14, 57, 58].

Breastfeeding Breastfeeding duration and/or exclusivity has been inversely associated with rate of weight gain or weight measures during infancy, and with weight, adiposity or risk of overweight and obesity in toddler and preschool age children [5974].

Introductory age to complementary foods Early age of introduction to complementary foods (e.g., <4 months) has been positively associated with rate of weight gain during infancy, and increased weight, or measures of adiposity in infants, toddlers, and preschool age children [69, 7581].

Diet quality and quantity:
 (i) Energy intakeTotal energy intake has been positively associated with higher risk or prevalence of overweight in infant, toddler and preschool age children [8185].
 (ii) Intake of sweetened beverages Intake of sugar sweetened beverages (excluding 100% juice) has been positively related to measures of adiposity or overweight in toddler and preschool age children [84, 8694].
 (iii) Fruit and vegetable consumption Children with higher consumption of fruit and/or vegetables, or higher availability of such, consume less total energy and have been associated with a more desirable body composition or body weight during preschool years [9599].

Parent feeding practices:
 (i) Attention to “hunger and satiety cues” Parental inattention to a child’s “hunger or satiety cues” has been positively associated with overfeeding or overweight in infants [100103].
 (ii) Use of “controlling”, “rewarding” or “restrictive” feeding practices Parental use of “controlling”, “rewarding” or “restrictive” feeding practices has been associated with the child’s food intake, weight gain during infancy, and overweight or obesity in preschool age children; depending on the parental feeding practice and child’s age, the direction of the association has not been consistently reported [25, 104113].

TV/Screen viewing time Hours of TV or screen time viewing has been positively associated with overweight or obesity in toddler and preschool age children [5, 87, 91, 114120].
Physical activity/active play timeTime spent during physical activity or active play has been inversely associated with measures of adiposity or risk of overweight among toddler and preschool age children [5, 78, 94, 117, 118, 121].

Sleep duration Sleep duration has been inversely associated with overweight, obesity, or measures of adiposity in infants, toddlers, and preschool age children [116, 119, 122127].

Shared family meals Frequency of a child’s participation in shared family meals per week has been inversely associated with overweight, obesity, or increased risk of overweight in preschool age children [116, 128].