You’ve heard the old adage, “The apple never falls far from the tree.” In the case of combating childhood obesity in preschoolers a new study found that teaching parents is good for children.
Not every parent knows what makes for healthy eating. For this research when the parents learned what is healthy, there were fewer instances of kids being overweight or obese.
As it happens, being healthy is identified by many as the iconic apple, which is why I used the above timeless analogy.
The study was simultaneously conducted at the University at Buffalo and Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo. It was published in July, 2014 in Pediatrics, the official journal of the Academy of Pediatrics.
According to ScienceDaily.com which featured the study, “Primary care treatment of overweight and obese preschoolers works better when treatment targets both parent and child compared to when only the child is targeted.”
This study supports my both non-scientific and I want to add, non-judgmental, supermarket observation. I confess, I cannot prevent myself when food shopping from studying what is in people’s shopping carts. More on that later in this article, but first here are some of the clinical findings of the study.
The study’s objective according to Pediatrics was to “test in the primary care setting the short- and long-term efficacy of a behavioral intervention that simultaneously targeted an overweight child and parent versus an information control (IC) targeting weight control only in the child.”
Approximately 100 children between the ages of two and five participated in the year-long study. For this experiment, two groups were set up. They both consisted of overweight or obese preschoolers along with a parent who also fit into the same category.
The metrics used to determine participant’s eligibility was body mass index (BMI).
For the study, educating the parents first was the key, “as the intervention was delivered through the parents, who were instructed about the appropriate number of food servings for children and appropriate calorie values.