Parenting style affects obese children's diets

July 10, 2008 in Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Parenting style affects obese children's diets

Parents' approach to raising their children is often apparent in how they manage their kids' diets, say researchers from Oklahoma State University.  

In this new report, 239 parents of first-grade children were studied to determine the effect of "authoritative" versus "permissive" parenting style on the children's diets.

Parents who were "authoritative" towards their children tended to behave the same way when it came to their children's eating habits. For example, they would ban certain foods, or pressure their children into eating fruits and vegetables.

"Authoritative" parents were also more likely to be mindful of their own eating habits as well.

"Permissive" parents were inclined to let their children eat whatever they want - a reflection of their overall parenting style.

Both the "authoritative" and "permissive" parents failed to serve as good dietary role models for their children, according to the report in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Efforts to help obese children lose weight are "not likely to be successful" unless their parent's approach to child-rearing is addressed.

Health experts recommend parents use positive approaches to get their children to eat right by setting a good example with their own diets.


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