Identifying an avid eating profile in childhood: Associations with temperament, feeding practices and food insecurity

Abigail Pickard*, Helen Croker, Katie Edwards, Claire Farrow, Emma Haycraft, Moritz Herle, Alice R. Kininmonth, Clare Llewellyn, Jacqueline Blissett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to identify distinct eating behaviour profiles in young children and examine how other key predictors of children's eating behaviour, including child temperament, the experience of food insecurity, or parental feeding practices, may vary by identified profiles. An online survey was conducted with 995 parents/carers living in England and Wales (N = 995, Mage = 35.4 years, 80% female, 88% White). Participants reported on their child's eating behaviour using the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire and completed measures of child temperament, household food security and parental feeding practices. Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) was carried out to identify distinct eating profiles amongst the children (36–72 months, Mage = 48.8 months, 52% female). Four eating profiles emerged from the sample of children: (a) avid eating, (b) avoidant eating, (c) happy eating, and (d) typical eating. Avid eating (21.9% of children) was characterised by higher levels of food responsiveness, enjoyment of food, and emotional over-eating in combination with lower satiety responsiveness, slowness in eating and food fussiness. Children with an avid eating profile were reported to be more surgent and experienced greater food insecurity than all other eating profiles. Parents of children belonging to the avid eating profile showed significantly greater use of food for emotional regulation, varied and balanced food provision, restriction of food for health, and restriction of food for weight feeding practices than the three other eating profiles.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107050
Number of pages11
Early online date4 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY [], which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Avid eating
  • Childhood temperament
  • Food approach
  • Parental feeding practices


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