Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Eating problems at age 6 years in a whole population sample of extremely preterm children

By Muthanna Samara, Samantha J. Johnson, Koen Lamberts, Neil Marlow and Dieter Wolke


Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of eating problems and their association with neurological and behavioural disabilities and growth among children born extremely preterm (EPC) at age 6 years. \ud Method: A standard questionnaire about eating was completed by parents of 223 children (125 males [56.1%], 98 females [43.9%]) aged 6 years who were born at 25 weeks' gestation or earlier (mean 24.5wks, SD 0.7wks; mean birthweight 749.1g, SD 116.8g), and parents of 148 classmates born at term (66 males [44.6%], 82 females [55.4%]). All children underwent neurological, cognitive, and anthropometric assessment, and parents and teachers completed a behaviour scale. \ud Results: Eating problems were more common among the EPC than the comparison group (odds ratio [OR] 3.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.1–6.3), including oral motor (OR 5.2, 95% CI 2.8–9.9), hypersensitivity (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.6–5.6), and behavioural (OR 3.8, 95% CI 1.9–7.6) problems. Group differences were reduced after adjustment for cognitive impairment, neuromotor disability, and other behaviour problems. EPC with eating problems were shorter, lighter, and had lower mid-arm circumference and lower body mass index (BMI) even after adjusting for disabilities, gestational age, birthweight, and feeding problems at 30 months. \ud Interpretation: Eating problems are still frequent in EPC at school age. They are only partly related to other disabilities but make an additional contribution to continued growth failure and may require early recognition and intervention

Topics: RJ
Publisher: Mac Keith Press
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. 5-3.5 years born preterm: Parents' perceptions. doi
  2. (1985). A pilot study of oral-motor dysfunction in 'at risk' infants. Pediatrics doi
  3. (1993). An Introduction to the Bootstrap: Chapman & Hall/CRC; doi
  4. (1997). Assessing the specific psychopathology of binge eating disorder patients: interview or self-report? Behaviour Research and Therapy doi
  5. Behavioral validation, Precursors and Concomitants of picky Eating in Childhood. doi
  6. (1994). Children with early refusal to eat: follow-up during primary school. doi
  7. (1994). Children with early refusal to eat: Follow-up during primary school. Acta Paediatricia Scandinavia doi
  8. Determination of nutritional requirements in preterm infants, with special reference to 'catch-up' growth. doi
  9. (1999). Developmental outcome for neonates with dysfunctional and disorganized sucking patterns: Preliminary ndings Infant-Toddler Intervention: The Transdisciplinary Journal
  10. Effect of an oral stimulation program on sucking skill maturation of preterm infants. doi
  11. Feeding disorders in ex-prematures: causes - response to therapy - long term outcome. doi
  12. Feeding issues for mothers of very low-birthweight, premature infants through the rst year doi
  13. Feeding problems and dysphagia in six-month-old extremely low birth weight infants. doi
  14. Feeding problems in infants with gastrooesophageal reux disease: a controlled study. doi
  15. (2004). Feeding problems in nursery children: prevalence and psychosocial factors Acta Paediatrica doi
  16. Follow-up of preterm children: important to document dropouts. doi
  17. (2003). Frequent problems in infancy and toddler years: excessive crying, sleeping and feeding difficulties. doi
  18. (1996). Interactions between mothers and infants showing food refusal. doi
  19. (1983). Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children. doi
  20. (2004). Long-term oral sensitivity and feeding skills of low-risk pre-term infants. Early Human Development doi
  21. (2007). Maternal mental health and child feeding problems in a non-clinical group. Eating Behaviours doi
  22. Maturational changes in the rhythms, patterning, and coordination of respiration and swallow during feeding in preterm and term infants. doi
  23. Neurologic and Developmental Disability at Six Years of Age after Extremely Preterm Birth. doi
  24. (1981). Nonparametric estimates of standard error: The jackknife, the bootstrap and other methods. doi
  25. Pervasive Behavior Problems at 6 Years of Age in a Total-Population Sample of Children Born at <=25 Weeks of Gestation. doi
  26. Postnatal ontogeny of performances of the pharynx, larynx, and mouth.
  27. Preschool Children Perceived by mothers as Irregular Eaters: Physical and Psychosocial Predictors from a Birth Cohort Study. doi
  28. Psychometric properties of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire. doi
  29. Specific Language Difficulties and School Achievement in Children Born at 25 Weeks of Gestation or Less. doi
  30. (2003). The EPICure study: growth and associated problems in children born at 25 weeks of gestational age or less Archives of Disease in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition doi
  31. (1990). The feeding relationship: Problems and interventions. doi
  32. (1992). The growth of low-birthweight children. doi
  33. (2006). The management of infant feeding problems.
  34. (2006). The nature and consequences of feeding problems in infancy.
  35. (1995). The objective rating of oral-motor functions during feeding. Dysphagia doi
  36. (1996). The therapeutic approach to the child with feeding difficulty: II. management and treatment. In:
  37. Validity of the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) in screening for eating disorders in community samples. doi
  38. What's the Relative Risk? A Method of Correcting the Odds Ratio in Cohort Studies of Common Outcomes. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.