Problematic Eating and Food-related Behaviours and Excessive Weight Gain: Why Children in Out-of-home Care Are at Risk

Rachael Cox, Helen Skouteris, Erik Hemmingsson, Matthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Louise L. Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Emerging evidence suggests that abuse and neglect in childhood may play a role in subsequent development of obesity. One population group particularly at risk is children and young people living in out-of-home care (OOHC). Given this population is already a vulnerable group, identifying potential mechanisms by which childhood abuse and neglect increases risk for obesity is essential. A possible explanation is that problematic eating and food-related behaviours (i.e., emotional eating, compulsive eating, overeating, binge eating, stealing or hoarding food) might mediate the association between adverse childhood experiences and obesity. Hence, the overall goal of this paper was to provide a narrative review of eating and food-related difficulties for children in care and their possible association with unhealthy and excessive weight gain. This review revealed a shortage of existing empirical papers and signalled particular need for further examination of the mediating effects of problematic eating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-347
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Social Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Health Social Work
  • Out-of-home Care

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