Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Restrictive Feeding Passes Eating Problems From Mother To Daughter At Early Age

Date:
May 15, 2000
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Problems and concerns about eating and weight can be passed from mother to daughter via restrictive feeding practices when the child is as young as five years of age, increasing the risk of childhood overweight, a new Penn State study has shown.

University Park, Pa. - Problems and concerns about eating and weight can be passed from mother to daughter via restrictive feeding practices when the child is as young as five years of age, increasing the risk of childhood overweight, a new Penn State study has shown.

Dr. Leann Birch, professor and head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, says "Familial overweight is commonly believed to be exclusively a genetic problem and, as a result, people tend to think that what happens in the family environment doesn't matter. While heavy mothers tend to have heavy daughters, our results indicate that these familial resemblances arise from both genetic factors and the use of child-feeding practices that foster problems in eating and increase daughters' relative weight."

The Penn State study, co-authored by Birch and Jennifer O. Fisher, research associate, is detailed in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in the paper, Mothers' Child-Feeding Practices Influence Daughters' Eating and Weight. It is the first study of its kind with pre-school children. The results are consistent with Birch's previous research which shows that stringent controls and restrictive child feeding practices do not produce the intended effect of helping children establish adequate self-control of food intake but rather, actually promote patterns of intake that are readily influenced by the presence and availability of palatable foods.

The 197 White mothers, who with their daughters participated in the study, completed questionnaires to measure their own restraint in eating and their perceptions of and concerns about their daughters' risk of overweight. Questionnaires were also used to measure the extent to which the mothers controlled their daughters' eating, restricted access to high calorie-high fat foods and limited snacking.

In general, mothers who reported that they were working hard to control their own weight, indicated that they tended to use more restrictive feeding practices to control their daughter's weight. Daughters who were receiving more restrictive parental management also tended to be heavier.

In another part of the study, the girls were assessed to see how they responded to the availability of high calorie-high fat snacks when their mothers were not monitoring them. After the girls had a self-selected lunch and indicated they were no longer hungry, they were asked to taste test 10 sweet and savory foods. Finally, they were shown a variety of toys available for a play session as well as a variety of snack foods, including popcorn, potato chips, chocolate chip cookies, fruit chew candy, chocolate bars, ice cream and frozen yogurt. The girl was told she could play with the toys or eat any of the foods while the experimenter left the room. Girls whose mothers had indicated using a high degree of control and restriction had greater intakes of the snack foods. Girls who consumed more snack foods when not hungry also tended to be heavier. The researchers write, "Parents' use of restrictive feeding practices may actually promote patterns of intake that are readily influenced by the presence and availability of palatable foods."

So, what's a parent to do to promote children's self-regulation? In a recent interview, Birch offered these suggestions: 1) make a large variety of low energy density foods that have fewer calories per ounce, such as fruits and vegetables, available so that kids will learn to like them. 2) Get good information about portion size so that children do not learn to overeat and parents have reasonable expectations about how much children need to eat. Reliable information about portion size can be found on http://navigator.tufts.edu and on usda.gov/cnpp/KidsPyra/ 3) Allow snacks in moderation. Don't take a Draconian approach.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Restrictive Feeding Passes Eating Problems From Mother To Daughter At Early Age." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000512082935.htm>.
Penn State. (2000, May 15). Restrictive Feeding Passes Eating Problems From Mother To Daughter At Early Age. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000512082935.htm
Penn State. "Restrictive Feeding Passes Eating Problems From Mother To Daughter At Early Age." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000512082935.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins