Barriers and enablers to caregivers’ responsive feeding behaviour: A systematic review to inform childhood obesity prevention

Type Article

Journal Article


S. A. Redsell; V. Slater; J. Rose; E. K. Olander; K. Matvienko-Sikar

Year of publication



Obes Rev








Responsive infant feeding is a critical component of childhood obesity prevention. However, there is little guidance for caregivers on how to do this successfully. The first step to developing an intervention to promote responsive feeding is to systematically identify its barriers and enablers. Searches were conducted in CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Medline, Embase, PubMed, PsycINFO, Maternity, and Infant Care from inception to November 2020. All study designs were included if they reported a barrier or enabler to responsive feeding during the first 2 years of life. We used a best fit" framework synthesis, with the Capacity, Opportunity, Motivation, and Behaviour (COM-B) model. The Mixed Method Appraisal Tool (MMAT) was used to assess study quality. Forty-three studies were included in the review. Barriers (n = 36) and enablers (n = 21) were identified across five COM-B domains: psychological capacity, physical and social opportunity, and reflective and automatic motivation. Enablers were recognition of infant feeding cues, feeding knowledge and family and friends. Caregiver attitude toward control of feeding was a barrier, together with health care professional advice about formula feeding and breastfeeding expectation. These barriers and enablers provide a comprehensive evidence base to guide intervention development to improve responsive feeding and prevent obesity across individual and population levels."