Strict Parenting = Overweight Kids?

Written by dad - One Comment

According to a recent study our of the Boston University School of Medicine, your parenting style can affect a lot more than your kids behavior… In fact, it can determine whether or not your kids will be overweight by the time they reach first grade. So says the study’s lead author:

Children of authoritarian parents had five times the risk of being overweight compared to children of authoritative [a more diplomatic style] mothers.

Authoritarian parents are described as strict disciplinarians, whereas authoritative parents are more respectful of a child’s opinions and thoughts while maintaining boundaries. Two other parenting styles were evaluated in the study: permissive, in which parents are indulgent and don’t practice discipline, and neglectful, in which parents are emotionally uninvolved and don’t set rules. These latter two parenting styles were also associated with an increased risk of obesity, although in these cases there was only a two-fold increase.

The authors remain unsure of the mechanism at work here, although they suggest that, beacuse authoritarian parents decide everything for their kids, children in these sorts of families might not learn to listen to cues from their own bodies, and may thus continue eating even when they’re full. In other words, it could be the old “You’re not leaving this table until that plate is clean” routine that’s to blame.

[Source: Forbes.com]

Published on June 12th, 2006 - One Comment
Filed under: Health
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