This study examines the associations of child temperament with overweight/obesity and breakfast habits. Participants were 17,409 five-year-olds whose mothers partake in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), and completed a questionnaire at the child’s 5th birthday. Temperament was assessed as externalizing, internalizing and sociable temperament. Breakfast habits differentiated between “every day”, “4 to 6 times a week”, and “0 to 3 times a week”. The child’s weight status was determined by Body Mass Index-percentiles and categorized as normal weight versus
overweight/obese. Children with externalizing temperament had higher odds of being overweight and higher odds of not eating breakfast daily. Children high in internalizing temperament had higher odds of not eating breakfast daily, but not of being overweight. Children with average scores of sociability were more prone to being overweight but had normal breakfast habits. All results were adjusted for key confounders. That five-year-olds high in externalizing temperament had a higher risk to be overweight adds important information to the literature. The association of externalizing temperament with child breakfast habits so early in life is intriguing, as parents mostly control eating patterns in children that young. Mechanisms mediating this association should be explored.
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