Do you have the right parenting style to prevent your child from becoming overweight? New research today shows that parental warmth is the key to a son or daughter’s healthy weight.
Analysis of data from more than 10,000 British children, presented to the International Congress on Obesity in Melbourne, found that authoritarian and neglectful parenting in early childhood was associated with higher weight throughout childhood and adolescence.
Both types of parenting are characterized by a lack of parental warmth.
In Ireland, one in five children is overweight or obese, with a relatively higher prevalence in older primary school-age children than in younger children.
Researcher Alexa Segal, from the Center for Health Economics and Policy Innovation at London’s Imperial College Business School, said: “The effect of parenting style on a child’s weight is often considered a taboo subject.
“However, a comprehensive understanding of the links between parenting styles and obesity in children and adolescents has great potential to inform obesity policy and help develop more effective health and nutrition programs.”
Ms. Segal and colleagues used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) to study the association between parenting style in early childhood and child weight later in childhood, early adolescence, late adolescence and to study in early adulthood from seven to 23 years.
Parenting style was classified into four categories based on questionnaires filled out by parents and children. A subset of participants was also filmed interacting with their parents.
The four parenting styles were: authoritative (parents who maintain clear boundaries but are also warm-hearted); authoritarian (where there is strict discipline and little warmth). The other styles were permissive (empathetic parents but with few rules) and lax or uninvolved (parents are emotionally uninvolved and have few rules).
Analysis of up to 23 years of data from 10,510 participants showed that adolescents who experienced authoritarian or neglectful parenting styles in early childhood at age seven were more likely to have a higher weight than those who experienced authoritative parenting. They were about 1.5 kg heavier on average.
The club was seen in all age groups.
The study’s authors say the lack of warmth associated with authoritarian and neglectful parenting can result in a decrease in a child’s ability to self-regulate their food intake — to eat when they’re hungry and to stop eating when they’re hungry. when it is full – not properly developed.
Ms Segal added: “Authoritarian mothers are characterized by being demanding and controlling while having little warmth and responsiveness.
“This could result in them not responding to their child’s hunger cues, such as not allowing them to choose a snack when hungry, or asserting control over the child’s food intake, such as pressurizing their child’s food intake.” Clean plates when they are not hungry.
“This control means that the child does not develop their own ability to regulate their own energy intake, which means they could consume excessively if they have the ability.
“Lack parenting, on the other hand, can be a problem of real neglect, where no rules are set — leaving children potentially free to choose unhealthy options.”
“Future interventions and studies could explore whether parenting styles can be adapted to be warmer and more authoritative.”
Permissive parenting was associated with higher weight, although the effect decreased with age, but the result was not statistically significant.
The authors say it is imperative to consider the influence of family life when health professionals develop obesity strategies.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/warm-parenting-style-can-help-prevent-obesity-as-study-shows-neglected-children-are-more-prone-to-weight-gain-42077882.html A warm parenting style can help prevent obesity, as studies show that neglected children are more prone to gaining weight