CHILD Evidence Insight Series: Eating behaviours in childhood: Why they matter and what can we do?

The Centre for Holistic Initiatives for Learning and Development (CHILD) this week released the third publication in the Evidence Insight series: Eating Behaviours in Childhood: Why they Matter and What Can We Do? 
The publication explores the issue of childhood obesity. Research data has highlighted 3 contributing factors that can increase overall food intake at meals leading to weight gain in childhood: 
- Larger portion size, 
- Faster eating speed, and 
- Eating in the absence of hunger. 

The brief suggests the following recommendations to improve children's eating habits: 

- Public health policies tackling childhood obesity should take a holistic view of children’s eating behaviours by looking beyond what they eat, to how they eat, including how much and when. 
- Children should be supported to consume appropriate portion sizes and to eat slower by taking smaller bites and chewing more, and their exposure to palatable, energy dense snacks in between meals should be limited. 
- Intervention programs designed to improve children’s eating behaviours will be more effective if they start early and target multiple eating behaviours, rather than single behaviours, and engage children alongside their wider caregiving community, including parents, grandparents, infant and childcare providers as well as preschools.

The 'Evidence Insight' series is produced by 
CHILD (Centre for Holistic Initiatives for Learning and Development) experts and explores various early childhood development topics through research, evidence and data directly relevant to Singapore. Insights can be used to guide and inform policymakers, practitioners, researchers and the public on pertinent issues faced by children and families. 



Read other insights in the series: 

EI 001 – Maternal mental health and well-being during pregnancy linked to brain development and function in children
EI 002 – Impact of screen viewing during early years on cognitive development