Ruling with an iron fist could make your child pack on pounds

If you're rigid with rules and skimpy on affection and dialogue with your kids, they have a greater chance of being obese, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology & Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity & Metabolism Scientific Sessions 2014.

Researchers followed a nationally representative group of 37,577 Canadian children aged 0 to 11. They compared whose parents are generally affectionate, have reasonable discussions about behavior with their child and set healthy boundaries (authoritative) with those whose parents were strict about limits without much dialogue or affection (authoritarian).

The latter group had a 30 percent higher chance of being obese among kids 2 to 5 years old and a 37 percent higher chance among kids 6 to 11 years.

"Parents should at least be aware of their parenting style," said Lisa Kakinami, Ph.D., a post-doctoral epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal. "If you're treating your child with a balance of affection and limits—these are the kids who are least likely to be obese."

Researchers compared ' answers to a cross-sectional survey. They then categorized and analyzed them with respect to children's body mass index (BMI) percentile.

Researchers also found that poverty was associated with childhood . But parenting style affected obesity regardless of income level.

More than one-third of American children are overweight or obese according to the American Heart Association. Exploring factors at home that may be fueling this public health concern could lead to better prevention and interventions, Kakinami said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Parents should team with kids to encourage exercise

Mar 05, 2014

Parents can help motivate kids to be more physically active, but the influence may not result in an improvement in their children's body mass index (BMI), finds a new evidence review in the American Journal of ...

Recommended for you

Independent safety investigation needed in the NHS

4 hours ago

The NHS should follow the lead of aviation and other safety-critical industries and establish an independent safety investigation agency, according to a paper published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The au ...

Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

8 hours ago

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken ...

AMA 'Code of Ethics' offers guidance for physicians

14 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics and other articles provide guidance for physicians in relation to public health emergencies, according to a report from the AMA.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.