This study examined whether young children include eating in their cognitive scripts for various events, and whether food-related scripts are associated with body mass index (BMI) percentile. Data were collected in a structured interview format. Participants, recruited from area preschools and day cares, provided a four-activity sequence for each of three events, and responses were recorded verbatim. Forty-four children (45% female) participated, with an average BMI percentile of 73.3% (. SD = 25.9). Data were binarily coded to indicate whether each response was food-related. Frequencies were obtained, and responses were correlated with BMI percentile. Over 22% of the activities in the children's scripts involved food. The number of food-related activities reported was positively correlated with children's BMI percentile (. r = 0.53, p = 0.03). Results provide preliminary evidence that food features prominently in young children's event scripts and that children with higher BMI percentiles may possess scripts that feature more food-related themes. Future researchers should investigate the causal nature of this relationship.
Musher-Eizenman, D. R., Marx, J. M., & Taylor, M. B. (2015). It’s always snack time: An investigation of event scripts in young children. Appetite, 85, 66–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.11.013