Parenting Styles and Weight Gain

It is obvious that our parenting styles do effect our children in many ways. A recent study published in Pediatrics June 2006 found that parenting style can affect our children’s weight.

The study followed 872 children from the time of their birth in 1991, and divided them into groups according to their parents’ style ( i.e., authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, or neglectful). The fewest weight problems occurred in children whose parents were authoritative ( i.e., with high expectations for self-control but sensitive to the child’s feelings). Parents who were permissive (indulgent with no discipline ) or neglectful (no emotional involvement or rule structure) had children twice as like to be overweight . children with authoritarian parents (strict with low levels of sensitivity) had five times the risk of being overweight by age six, probably because their strict environment causes them to overeat in response to stress.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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