Parents’ Eating Habits Influence Obesity in Children

Latest research on childhood obesity has revealed that parents eating habits influence their child’s eating habits too, causing obesity. The study was conducted at the Washington State University and the findings were published in the latest issue of the journal Appetite.

The Study

Halley Morrison, the lead author of the study focused on childhood obesity and its prevention as the topic of her research in the Department of Human Development, WSU.  Together with her colleagues she set about surveying 222 Latino and African-American preschoolers. The problem she found was not in the lack of food, but in the abundance of it. Eating behaviors and patterns of the parents have changed over the years and they have resorted to packaged food and drink that is not only less nutritious but also qualifies as junk food. Further, mothers generally resort to eating more even after they are full.

According to Morrison’s study on mothers and children, there are 2 types of mothers who induce obesity:

1. Those who are guided by Emotions and Impulse in their eating habits

The author says that the mothers who eat on impulse tend to raise children with the same habit and hence both of them indulge in eating junk food because very often it is such foods which qualify as unhealthy.

2.  Those that eat beyond their capacity just to fulfill their greed

The second category of mothers is those who eat even after they are full. They believe that they have to finish what is on their plate and inculcate the same in their children too.  Both these types make the children overeat and end up risking obesity.

Conclusion and Recommendations of the Study

The trick is to follow a portion control. Smaller meals at frequent intervals are healthier. Also feed the child more food only if they ask for it. Do not set limits according to your perception. Let the child be in sync with the body and observe it so that the meal is accomplished on a satisfactory note. This will make mealtime experience a positive one for both the mother and the child. Another important point is to stock your pantry with healthy foods. Take care to see that that even snacking is healthy. Limiting the sweets and oily snacks ensures that your child is not exposed to high-calorie and low nutrition foods.


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