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Good Parenting May Lower Childhood Obesity Risk


A growing body of evidence suggests that it isn’t always what kids eat that leads to childhood obesity; a good deal of the responsibility to keep children healthy may rest on the choices parents make at home—and not just at mealtime! A new study from NYU Langone Medical Center found that children whose parents have been taught good parenting skills are less likely to become overweight, reports DNAinfo.

PLUS: Spoon-Fed Babies at Higher Risk for Obesity

The study, which was published earlier this week in Pediatrics, involved 186 4-year-olds from low-income, minority families in New York City. A portion of these families were enrolled in ParentCorps, an organization that provided weekly training sessions for parents in how to effectively discipline their children. Meanwhile, the preschoolers were taught how to manage their emotions.

PLUS: Study: Junk Food in Schools Does Not Influence Obesity

The researchers found that 24 percent of the kids who had been involved in the program were obese by age 8, compared to 58 percent of the group that received no such training. It is important to note that the sessions did not focus on exercise or nutrition. Dr. Laurie Miller Brotman, the director of the study, speculates that the children enrolled in the program were able to deal with stress without turning to food for comfort while the parents learned to not use food as reinforcement for good behavior.

Do you make it a priority to teach your child how to regulate his or her emotions? Do you think it would be beneficial to include such training in school curriculums?