Review ArticleDevelopment of Eating Behavior Biology and ContextGahagan, Sheila MD, MPH Author Information From the Division of Child Development and Community Health, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, CA; and the Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Received February 2011; accepted December 2011. This study was supported by a grant R01HL088530 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health. Disclosure: The author declares no conflict of interest. Address for reprints: Sheila Gahagan, MD, MPH, Division of Child Development and Community Health, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive #0927, La Jolla, CA 92093; e-mail: [email protected]. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics 33(3):p 261-271, April 2012. | DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31824a7baa Buy Metrics Abstract Eating is necessary for survival, gives great pleasure, and can be perturbed leading to undernutrition, overnutrition, and eating disorders. The development of feeding in humans relies on complex interplay between homeostatic mechanisms; neural reward systems; and child motor, sensory, and socioemotional capability. Furthermore, parenting, social influences, and the food environment influence the development of eating behavior. The rapid expansion of new knowledge in this field, from basic science to clinical and community-based research, is expected to lead to urgently needed research in support of effective, evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies for undernutrition, overnutrition, and eating disorders in early childhood. Using a biopsychosocial approach, this review covers current knowledge of the development of eating behavior from the brain to the individual child, taking into account important contextual influences. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.