Parents are stricter - children are fatter

Parents are stricter – children are fatter, new study shows

A child who cannot eat when he wants does not develop the ability to control his own appetite.

Parents with an authoritarian parenting style are more likely to have overweight children. These are the results of a study presented at the International Congress on Obesity in Melbourne by staff at Imperial College London, StudyFinds reports. On average, the children of such parents are 1.5 kg heavier than their peers, whose parents were strict but attentive.

“Authoritarian mothers are characterized by high demands and the desire to control children, while they are not warm and responsive,” the authors of the study say. – This leads to the fact that they do not react to whether the child is hungry or full. For example, they do not allow him to eat when he wants, and force him to do it when he is full. Therefore, the child does not develop its own ability to regulate energy consumption, which means that he can overdo it when he has the opportunity.

During the study, scientists analyzed information on more than 10,000 British children when they were 7, 11, 13, 16 and 23 years old. Parents and children answered the questions of the questionnaire about the peculiarities of upbringing. The children were weighed regularly. The researchers divided all parents according to parenting styles into four categories: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and dismissive. Authoritative parents were supported by strict rules of upbringing, but showed warmth to children. The authoritarians were strict and showed little to no affection. Indulgent parents were kind, but they allowed their children everything. Negligent parents were emotionally disconnected from their children and left parenting to take its course. It turned out that children whose parents adhered to an authoritarian or “sloppy” parenting style until the age of 7 were more likely to weigh 1.5 kilograms or more than children of authoritative and indulgent parents.