Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reducing pressure on children to eat may help prevent obesity

Date:
September 4, 2012
Source:
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Summary:
An educational program for parents helps to reduce pressure on children to eat—which may reduce the child's risk of obesity, according to a new study.

An educational program for parents helps to reduce pressure on children to eat -- which may reduce the child's risk of obesity, reports a study in the September Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Related Articles


Parents educated in an approach based on "division of responsibility" (DOR) for eating put less pressure on their children to eat certain foods, according to the new research, led by Dr. W. Stewart Agras of Stanford University. The study adds to the evidence that the DOR approach can promote healthy development of appetite and eating behaviors in young children.

Education Takes Pressure off Tots' Eating Behaviors

The study included 62 families with a toddler (aged two to four) considered at high risk of obesity -- with at least one parent who was obese or overweight. One group of parents was educated in the DOR concept, which takes a child-development approach to "parent/child feeding interactions." Dr Agras explains, "At the family level parent feeding practices, such as taking control over their child's eating, appear to contribute to childhood overweight."

In the DOR approach, parents take responsibility for providing and serving food, while children are responsible for deciding whether or not to eat and how much to eat. "The primary principle is that crossing parent or child boundaries leads to feeding problems," according to the authors. The other group of parents was assigned to the National Institutes of Health's "We Can" program, which seeks to promote healthy eating and increased physical activity.

At follow-up, parents educated in the DOR approach were putting less pressure on their child to eat, compared to those taught about the "We Can" program. Two parental factors affected the pressure to eat: "disinhibition," reflecting the parents' tendency to overeat, and hunger or food cravings in the parents. Parents who learned about DOR put less pressure on their children to eat, regardless of their own disinhibition or hunger scores.

In contrast, for the "We Can" group, parents with low disinhibition and low hunger scores (that is, less control over eating and lower hunger/cravings) put more pressure on their children. Thus an approach that teaches parents to promote consumption of healthy foods may have actually led to a decrease in positive feeding practices

Parents in the DOR group were less likely to restrict food choices in girls, although not in boys. It may be that parents are more focused on girls' eating patterns, "in line with the greater concern about female weight and shape," the researchers write.

Children whose parents are obese or overweight are at risk of becoming obese themselves, possibly because the family environment reinforces "maladaptive" eating behaviors. There's evidence that parents becoming over-involved in their child's eating behavior -- such as taking excessive control over their child's eating -- contributes to childhood overweight. Excessive parental control over eating may interfere with the child's perceptions of hunger and feeling full (satiety).

Although the new study is only preliminary, it adds to the evidence that parents taught the DOR approach put less pressure on their child at mealtimes. A larger study with longer follow-up will be needed to determine whether the changes lead to a lower risk of childhood overweight or obesity. Dr Agras and colleagues add, "Efforts to increase consumption of healthy foods in toddlers should include counseling parents to model eating such foods and not to pressure children to eat them."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "Reducing pressure on children to eat may help prevent obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904110614.htm>.
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2012, September 4). Reducing pressure on children to eat may help prevent obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904110614.htm
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "Reducing pressure on children to eat may help prevent obesity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904110614.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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