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Table 1 An illustrative list of constructs applicable to ASR in childhood and their measurement

From: “Food” and “non-food” self-regulation in childhood: a review and reciprocal analysis

Construct First author, publication year Sample description/age focus for reviews Construct Measurement Study design Results/selected findings
Bottom up (approach)
 Food responsiveness Carnell (2016) [97] 4–5 year old UK children and mothers, mainly White British CEBQ Cross-sectional, with preloading and observed lunch intake plus parent reported eating behaviors Higher food responsiveness was linked to greater total food intake
Cross (2014) [98] Low income African American and Hispanic parents and their preschool children aged 4 years CEBQ Cross-sectional survey of parent rated eating behaviors and parent feeding practices Food responsiveness related to mothers’ restrictive feeding practices
 Reward sensitivity/response to food and food cues Adise (2019) [99] 7–11 year old US children and families, mainly White, middle income fMRI Cross-sectional using neuro imaging assessment of brain responses to food and money rewards Higher food responsiveness linked to decreased brain responses to winning food rewards. Regions associated with reward, cognitive control and emotion may play a role in the brain’s responses to food
Yokum (2019) [100] US adolescents 14–17 years, 77.7% European American fMRI Longitudinal design measuring neural activity for gained weight versus weight stable groups Suggest that initial hyper-responsivity to palatable high-fat food tastes could be related to future weight gain
Shapiro (2019) [101] From a pre-birth longitudinal cohort of US children, ethnically diverse. Tested at 4–6 years of age fMRI Cross-sectional with laboratory-based measurement of Eating in absence of hunger (EAH) and a brain scan EAH was associated with activity in a major reward network, and reduced connectivity between brain regions associated with reward and those associated with response inhibition
 Enjoyment of food Carnell (2016) [97] 4–5 year old UK children and mothers, mainly White British CEBQ Cross-sectional, with preloading and observed lunch intake plus parent reported eating behaviors Higher enjoyment of food was linked to greater total food intake
Cross (2014) [98] Low income African American and Hispanic parents and their preschool children aged 4 years CEBQ Cross-sectional survey of parent rated eating behaviors and parent feeding practices Higher enjoyment of food was linked to more restrictive feeding practices in African American families
 Hedonic/reward aspects of food and hunger Alonso-Alonso (2015) [102] Not age-based Review Examined the neuroscience of food reward Discussed homeostatic and non-homeostatic (related to the brain’s reward system) influences on the regulation of food intake
Lowe (2007) [103] Not age-based Review Examined hedonic hunger as a new eating motive Proposed a distinction between homeostatic and hedonic eating
 Subliminal reward signals de Araujo (2020) [104] Not age-based Review Examined human and animal research about processes associated with food reward Proposed a two-path model of food reward that included subliminal reward signals and conscious liking
 Reward neurocircuitry Reichelt (2015) [105] Not age-based Review Examined neurocircuitry associated with the reinforcing value of foods and inhibitory control Set out a model of food cue effects on homeostatic appetite signals and reward neurocircuitry
 Emotional eating/over-eating Lumeng (2014) [106] Low-income (Head Start) US children aged 3–4 years and parents CEBQ Cross-sectional using parent questionnaires plus child weight and cortisol measures Family stress was linked to overweight, with this mediated by emotional eating in boys
 External eating Jahnke (2008) [107] German mothers of preschool children aged 3–6 years. Diverse SES DEBQ Cross-sectional using parent-questionnaires Overweight children scored higher on external eating
 Consumption of problematic foods Jahnke (2008) [107] German mothers of preschool children aged 3–6 years, diverse SES Parent reports of child food consumption Cross-sectional using parent questionnaires Parent ratings showed that children with higher weight status ate significant less problematic food
 Healthy food preferences Anzman-Frasca (2018) [108] Prenatal to early childhood Review Examined evidence about promoting healthy food preferences Early exposure to healthy foods can support subsequent acceptance of these foods
Russell (2016) [109] Diverse sample of Australian preschool children aged 3–5 years and parents Parent reports of food preferences Cross-sectional, with measures of parent-reported child appetitive traits (CEBQ) and food preferences Healthy food preferences were related to enjoyment of food, satiety responsiveness and fussiness
 Eating in the absence of hunger (EAH) Leung (2014) [58] Low-income (Head Start) US preschool children and their caregivers, diverse in race and ethnicity Observed EAH using the free access protocol Cross-sectional with measures of parent-reports of temperament and obesogenic eating behaviors plus observed EAH Higher temperamental surgency, but not effortful control, was related to more EAH
 Impulsivity Bennett (2016) [110] UK parents (mainly tertiary educated) and their children aged 2–4 years Parent ratings on ECBQ, and child impulsivity, plus laboratory assessments of child impulsivity Cross-sectional, using parent questionnaires and laboratory measures Girls high in trait-like impulsivity and boys high in motor impulsivity could be more prone to display food approach behaviors associated with weight gain when parents monitor their intake less.
 Disinhibited eating Shapiro (2019) [101] From a pre-birth longitudinal cohort of US children, ethnically diverse. Tested at 4–6 years of age Disinhibited eating measured using the EAH free access protocol Cross-sectional with laboratory measurement of EAH and a brain scan Provided new evidence of the neuronal correlates of disinhibited eating in young children
Russell (2018) [29] Childhood Review Narrative review of development of appetitive traits using insights from research and theory in developmental science Outlined a biopsychosocial model of the development of appetitive traits, including disinhibited eating in childhood
 Eating rate Carnell (2007) [111] UK children 4–5 years of age and parents (mainly mothers, White British and affluent) Observed eating rate Cross-sectional with observed eating behaviors plus parent-completed CEBQ Faster eating was linked to higher food responsiveness and enjoyment of food. Slower eating was linked to higher satiety responsiveness
Bottom up (avoidance)
 Food neophobia/picky eating Russell (2018) [29] Childhood Review Narrative review of development of appetitive traits using insights from research and theory in developmental science Outlined a biopsychosocial model of the development of appetitive traits, including food neophobia in childhood
Cole (2017) [112] Children less than 30 months of age Review Examined correlates of picky eating and food neophobia at different levels, for example, genetic, child, family, community Highlighted the importance of investigating parent-child dyads and bidirectional feeding patterns
Russell (2008) [113] Population-based sample of Australian children 2–5 years and parents CFNS Cross-sectional, with measures of parent-reported food neophobia and food preferences Food neophobia was negatively correlated with liking for all foods in the healthy food group of Australian Healthy Eating Guide
Lumeng (2018) [114] Low income US children and mothers. Entered study at 21 or 27 months of age. CEBQ, BAMBI Cross-lagged cohort questionnaire study at 21, 27 and 33 months of age Concurrent association were found between picky eating and pressuring feeding, but no prospective associations
 Food fussiness Gregory (2010) [115] Australian mothers of children 2–4 years mostly tertiary educated and Australian born CEBQ Cross-sectional using parent questionnaires about child eating behaviors, parent feeding, and concerns about child weight Food fussiness predicted maternal pressure to eat, partially mediated by concern about child underweight
 Food avoidance Powell (2011) [116] UK mothers of children 3–6 years, mostly White British CEBQ Cross-sectional with parent reports of parent feeding behaviors and child food avoidance Maternal feeding practices significantly predicted child food avoidance
 Emotional undereating Bjorklund (2018) [117] Representative community sample of Norwegian children 6–10 years and parents CEBQ Longitudinal with measures of child and contextual predictors of change in emotional over- and undereating Lower family functioning at age 6 predicted emotional undereating at age 10
Herle (2018) [118] Subsample from Twins Early Development study at age 4 years, mainly White British CEBQ Cross-sectional with measures of genetic and environmental factors contributing to emotional over-and undereating Genetic contributions to emotional undereating were not significant. Shared environmental factors explained 77% of the variance
 Slowness in eating Llewellyn (2010) [98] Population-based sample of infant twins from England and Wales BEBQ Cross sectional heritability analysis of scales from BEBQ Heritability was high for slowness in eating
Top down
 Delay-of-gratification Lelakowski (2019) [72] Diverse US sample of mothers, children aged 24–30 months Snack delay task Longitudinal, with measures of child temperament, parent feeding and child BMI Impulsivity but not inhibitory control (snack delay task) was related to BMI
Kidd (2013) [119] US children aged 3–5 years Marshmallow wait task Cross-sectional with measures of children’s wait time and beliefs about environmental reliability Wait time reflected differences in self-control and beliefs about the stability of the world
 Reward/delay discounting Bennett (2019) [120] UK children aged 7–11 years and parents, mainly White middle class Delay discounting task as a measure of impulsivity Cross-sectional with measures of child impulsivity, adiposity, intake during a snack, and eating behaviors Poorer performance on delay discounting was associated with greater snack intake
 EC inhibitory control Rollins (2014) [121] US children aged 3–7 years and parents mainly White, middle to high income CBQ Short-term longitudinal with measures of restrictive feeding practices, intake of restricted food and child weight Children with lower inhibitory control and higher approach showed greater increase in intake in association with experience of parental restriction
Tan (2011) [122] US parents with children 3–9 years CBQ Cross-sectional with measures of child self-regulation in eating, inhibitory control and parents’ feeding behavior Self-regulation in eating was positively correlated with inhibitory control
 EF inhibitory control Fogel (2019) [123] Children from an Asian cohort aged 6 years Stop signal task as measure of inhibitory control Cross-sectional with measures of child inhibitory control, eating behavior and adiposity Lower inhibitory control was related to selecting larger food portion, multiple food servings and faster eating rates
Shapiro (2019) [124] From a pre-birth longitudinal cohort of US children, ethnically diverse. Tested at 4–6 years of age Flanker task as measure of inhibitory control Cross-sectional with measures of biomarkers of poor metabolic health and performance on cognitive tasks Greater blood biomarkers of poor metabolic health were related to lower inhibitory control
Others/both top-down and bottom-up
 Homeostatic and hedonic systems cross-talk Higgs (2017) [125] Not age-based Review Examined evidence about the integration of metabolic, reward and cognitive processes in appetite control Favors a framework that emphasizes cross-talk between the neurochemical substrates of hedonic and homeostatic systems
Berthoud (2017) [126] Not age-based Review Examined hedonic and homeostatic controls in the regulation of body weight Presents neural models of the interaction between homeostatic and hedonic controls
 Interoception Keller (2018) [127] Children Review Examined the role of the brain in children’s food choice and eating behavior, including brain regions associated with interoception Noted findings suggesting a reduced awareness of internal homeostatic cues among individuals prone to obesity
 Alliesthesia Higgs (2017) [125] Not age-based Review Examined evidence about the integration of metabolic, reward and cognitive processes in appetite control Discussed alliesthesia: food is more liked when hungry, less so when eating when full. Noted associations with decreases in reward-related brain activations
Berridge (2010) [128] Not age-based Review Examined brain mechanisms associated with obesity or eating disorders, including alliesthesia Suggested possible brain-based mechanisms for hunger increasing “liking” and “wanting” food
 Caloric compensation Carnell (2007) [111] UK children 4–5 years of age and parents, (mainly mothers, White British and affluent) Observed using preload protocol Cross-sectional with measures of children’s ability to regulate intake depending on the caloric content of a preload plus parent-completed CEBQ Higher satiety responsiveness (CEBQ) was associated with better average caloric compensation
 Compensation for energy density Brugaileres (2019) [129] French infants at 11 and 15 months of age and mothers Observed using preload protocol Short-term longitudinal with measures of changes in adjustment of intake to energy density At both ages, infants undercompensated for the energy of the preload. Compensation ability decreased from 11 to 15 months. The greater the decrease, the higher weight status at 2 years of age
  Johnson (2000) [28] High SES US children 4–5 years of age and parents Preload protocol Short-term longitudinal intervention to help children recognize cues of satiety and hunger to compensate for energy density Large individual differences in self-regulation at baseline. The intervention improved children’s self-regulation
 Compensation across meals and over days Leahy (2008) [130] US children 3–5 years of age. Parents mostly White with a university degree Varied energy density of prepared meals Short-term longitudinal with measures of intake in response to differences in energy density over 2 days using a cross-over design A decrease in energy density led to a decrease in energy intake; children did not compensate in their energy intake (calories) according to the energy density of the meals
 Food choice/processed food effects Small (2019) [131] Not age-based Review Examined two systems driving food choice: metabolic signals about nutritional content, and conscious perceptions e.g., about flavor, caloric content, healthfulness Argues there is evidence that nutritional signals about processed food are not accurately conveyed to the brain
 Food “liking” and “wanting” Keller (2018) [127] Children Review Examined the role of the brain in children’s food choice and eating behavior, including the neural drivers of food “liking” and “wanting” Summarizes evidence about the neural drivers of affective response to food (“liking”) and the incentive salience of food (“wanting”)
Berridge (2016) [132] Not age-based Review Examined brain mechanisms associated with “wanting” a reward (including food) and “liking” the same reward Addiction could be associated with excessive amplification of “wanting”, especially triggered by cues about anticipated rewards and pleasure. Heightened dopamine reactivity such as stress and emotions could increase “wanting”
 Satiety responsiveness Carnell (2016) [97] 4–5 year old UK children and mothers, mainly White British CEBQ Cross-sectional, with preloading and observed lunch intake plus parent-reported eating behaviors Higher satiety responsiveness was linked to lower total food intake
Cross (2014) [98] Low income African American and Hispanic parents and their preschool children CEBQ Cross-sectional using measures of parent-rated child eating behaviors and parent-reported feeding practices Higher satiety responsiveness was associated with greater pressure to eat in African American families
 Satiation and satiety Blundell (2010) [133] Not age-based Review Examined specific measures of satiation, satiety, hunger and food consumption, including “liking” and “wanting” Sets out a model of the impact of foods on satiation and satiety. Discussed approaches to the measurement of satiation and satiety
Bellisle (2012) [134] Not age-based Review Examines the satiating power of foods with sweeteners. Included “liking” and “wanting” and their role Highlighted methodological challenges in measuring satiation and satiety
  1. CEBQ Children’s Eating Behaviour Questionnaire, BEBQ Baby Eating Behaviour Questionnaire, TMCQ Temperament in Middle Childhood Questionnaire, ECBQ Early Childhood Behaviour Questionnaire, CFNS Child Food Neophobia Scale, BAMBI Brief Autism Mealtime Behaviour Inventory, CBQ Children’s Behavior Questionnaire, EF Executive Function, EC Effortful Control