Icons / Login Created with Sketch.
Icons / User Created with Sketch.

Associations between eating disorders in mothers and children’s diet and weight


Eating disorders (for example, binge-eating disorder, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa) are mental health disorders characterised by disturbances in eating behaviours. Eating disorders can significantly impact a women’s emotional, psychosocial and physical well-being. Recent research has found children of mothers with eating disorders to be at increased risk of difficulties in feeding (for eg breastfeeding initiation and cessation) and eating behaviours, cognitive and motor developmental difficulties, display more emotional and behavioural difficulties, and to be more likely described as having a difficult temperament. The long-term impacts of a history of disordered eating and the impact this may have on the subsequent health of both the women with the history of disordered eating and her child/ren is less well known, particularly in older children (over 3 years). Of particular interest is the potential impact on a child’s diet, body weight, general development and psychosocial health and whether effects are similar for siblings. This study aims to examine these associations.