Diets of children could fatten their parents, study suggests

Whilst many studies of obesity in children focus on how their life is influenced by their parents, a new study reverses this thinking and instead looks at what influence kids may have on their parents:

“Parents with children are likely to be susceptible in their food choices to both the marketing of convenience in food choices as well as indirectly to the marketing directed at their children,” wrote the study’s authors, Dr. Helena Laroche of the University of Iowa and Dr. Matthew Davis of the University of Michigan Health System.

Of 6,660 adults questioned, generally those with children at home confessed to eating much higher quantities of junk food than those without kids. Calorific intake was actually about the same, but those without kids got their energy from leaner sources of food.

Laroche and Davis emphasized that children are not to blame for the high-fat eating habits of the adults who care for them. But they suggested that physicians who treat adult patients should be as aware as pediatricians have become that poor food choices can be a family problem, not just a challenge for the individual patient.

It’s an interesting look at the issues surrounding obesity in general, and particularly amongst children, though ultimately it is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that their children have the most healthy, nutritious food possible.

There is something very wrong if children are dictating what the family eats, and when they don’t know better, it is up to the parent to instil in them an understanding of healthy eating.

When I was a child, I was fed ‘proper food’ by my parents, and grew up to know what’s considered good, healthy food, and what is less healthy, ‘eat in moderation’ food. Many children today seem to lack that vital input, and they’re not necessarily getting it from their school education either. No wonder, even from a young age, they’re lacking interest in anything remotely ‘natural and healthy’ and are clamouring for deep fried unidentifiables and an early coronary.

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