Certain Eating Patterns & Behavior Traits May Increase Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity in Children
A parents involvement in their child’s eating habits is essential. With childhood obesity rapidly rising it is important that parents control the amount of junk food their child eats. This can be easily accomplished by not purchasing a large assortment of empty calorie non-nutritional foods. Certainly a bag of cookies in the cupboard is acceptable but a cupboard full of junk food is not. A child's inhibitory control, a behavior similar to self-control, may be more important than what parents provide for their children to eat. This is where eating patterns and behavioral traits come in. If your child eats three healthy meals a day and a few healthy snacks then they are at a lower risk for obesity than their counterparts who are allowed to eat whatever they want and the parents idea of a healthy meal is a drive-thru.
10 Year Study
“Stephanie Anzman, MS, and Leann Birch, PhD, of the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University studied 197 non-Hispanic white girls. They collected information from the girls and their parents over a 10-year period, beginning when the girls were 5 years old. In addition to recording their body mass index (BMI), the researchers asked the girls whether their parents restricted or forbade certain foods. The researchers also recorded the parents' BMI, income, and education level. Additionally, mothers were asked to describe their child's level of self-control.”
According to Ms. Anzman, She suggests that parents can help their children learn to control their eating habits by allowing them to choose between healthy options. She adds that it is often better to not keep restricted foods in the house. "That way," she explains, "it is not necessary to constantly tell children they cannot have the foods they want." This method also allows the child to feel that they have some control over what they eat and this helps with the behavior traits as well.