Maternal depression and childhood obesity: A systematic review
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Objective. Maternal depression is prevalent and has been associated with parenting practices that influence child weight. In this systematic review we aimed to examine the prospective association between maternal depression and child overweight.Methods. We searched four databases (PsycINFO, PubMed, Embase, and Academic Search Premier) to identify studies for inclusion. We included studies with a prospective design with at least one year follow-up, measuring maternal depression at any stage after childbirth, and examining child overweight or obesity status, body mass index z-score or percentile, or adiposity. Two authors extracted data independently and findingswere qualitatively synthesized.Results. We identified nine prospective studies for inclusion. Results were examined separately for episodic depression (depression at a single measurement occasion) and chronic depression (depression on multiple measurement occasions). Mixed results were observed for the relationship between episodic depression and indicators of child adiposity. Chronic depression, but not episodic depression,was associated with greater risk for child overweight.Conclusions.While chronic depression may be associated with child overweight, further research is needed. Research is also needed to determine whether maternal depression influences child weight outcomes in adolescence and to investigate elements of the family ecology that may moderate the effect of maternal depression on child overweight.
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