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Early childhood appetitive traits and eating disorder symptoms in adolescence: a 10-year longitudinal follow-up study in the Netherlands and the UK

Derks, Ivonne PM; Nas, Zeynep; Harris, Holly A; Kininmonth, Alice R; Treasure, Janet; Jansen, Pauline W; Llewellyn, Clare H; (2024) Early childhood appetitive traits and eating disorder symptoms in adolescence: a 10-year longitudinal follow-up study in the Netherlands and the UK. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health 10.1016/S2352-4642(23)00342-5. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Obesity and eating disorders commonly co-occur and might share common risk factors. Appetite avidity is an established neurobehavioural risk factor for obesity from early life, but the role of appetite in eating disorder susceptibility is unclear. We aimed to examine longitudinal associations between appetitive traits in early childhood and eating disorder symptoms in adolescence. METHODS: In this longitudinal cohort study, we used data from Generation R (based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands) and Gemini (based in England and Wales). Appetitive traits at age 4-5 years were measured using the parent-reported Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire. At age 12-14 years, adolescents self-reported on overeating eating disorder symptoms (binge eating symptoms, uncontrolled eating, and emotional eating) and restrictive eating disorder symptoms (compensatory behaviours and restrained eating). Missing data on covariates were imputed using Multivariate Imputation via Chained Equations. Ordinal and binary logistic regressions were performed in each cohort separately and adjusted for confounders. Pooled results were obtained by meta-analyses. Sensitivity analyses were performed on complete cases using inverse probability weighting. FINDINGS: The final study sample included 2801 participants from Generation R and 869 participants from Gemini. Pooled findings after meta-analyses showed that higher food responsiveness in early childhood increased the odds of binge eating symptoms (odds ratio [OR]pooled 1·47, 95% CI 1·26-1·72), uncontrolled eating (1·33, 1·21-1·46), emotional eating (1·26, 1·13-1·41), restrained eating (1·16, 1·06-1·27), and compensatory behaviours (1·18, 1·08-1·30) in adolescence. Greater emotional overeating in early childhood increased the odds of compensatory behaviours (1·18, 1·06-1·33). By contrast, greater satiety responsiveness in early childhood decreased the odds of compensatory behaviours in adolescence (0·89, 0·81-0·99) and uncontrolled eating (0·86, 0·78-0·95) in adolescence. Slower eating in early childhood decreased the odds of compensatory behaviours (0·91, 0·84-0·99) and restrained eating (0·90, 0·83-0·98) in adolescence. No other associations were observed. INTERPRETATION: In this study, higher food responsiveness in early childhood was associated with a higher likelihood of self-reported eating disorder symptoms in adolescence, whereas greater satiety sensitivity and slower eating were associated with a lower likelihood of some eating disorder symptoms. Appetitive traits in children might be early neurobehavioural risk factors for, or markers of, subsequent eating disorder symptoms. FUNDING: MQ Mental Health Research, Rosetrees Trust, ZonMw.

Type: Article
Title: Early childhood appetitive traits and eating disorder symptoms in adolescence: a 10-year longitudinal follow-up study in the Netherlands and the UK
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/S2352-4642(23)00342-5
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(23)00342-5
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10188021
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