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A Biopsychosocial Model of Sex Differences in Children’s Eating Behaviors

1
Department of Nutritional Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
2
Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16803, USA
3
Department of Epidemiology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03756, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(3), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030682
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Taste, Nutrition and Health)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: sex differences; eating behavior; food intake; biopsychosocial; children; brain imaging sex differences; eating behavior; food intake; biopsychosocial; children; brain imaging
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MDPI and ACS Style

Keller, K.L.; Kling, S.M.R.; Fuchs, B.; Pearce, A.L.; Reigh, N.A.; Masterson, T.; Hickok, K. A Biopsychosocial Model of Sex Differences in Children’s Eating Behaviors. Nutrients 2019, 11, 682. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030682

AMA Style

Keller KL, Kling SMR, Fuchs B, Pearce AL, Reigh NA, Masterson T, Hickok K. A Biopsychosocial Model of Sex Differences in Children’s Eating Behaviors. Nutrients. 2019; 11(3):682. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030682

Chicago/Turabian Style

Keller, Kathleen L., Samantha M.R. Kling, Bari Fuchs, Alaina L. Pearce, Nicole A. Reigh, Travis Masterson, and Kara Hickok. 2019. "A Biopsychosocial Model of Sex Differences in Children’s Eating Behaviors" Nutrients 11, no. 3: 682. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030682

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