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Study: Disciplinarian parents have fat kids

CHICAGO - Reuters | 6/6/2006 12:00:00 AM |

Parents who are strict disciplinarians are far more likely to wind up with children who are fat by age six, perhaps because the youngsters over-eat as a reaction to stress, a study said on Monday.

Parents who are strict disciplinarians are far more likely to wind up with children who are fat by age six, perhaps because the youngsters over-eat as a reaction to stress, a study said on Monday.

The report from Boston University School of Medicine also found that the fewest weight problems occur among children whose parents are "authoritative" -- having high expectations for self control but respectful of a child's opinions and who set clear boundaries.

The study also found that children of parents who are permissive, defined as indulgent and without discipline, also have weight problems but not to the degree of the offspring of strict disciplinarians with low levels of sensitivity.

Researchers also found that children of neglectful mothers and fathers, those who are emotionally uninvolved with no set rules, fared about the same as kids raised by permissive parents.

The study covered 872 children who were part of a group enrolled at birth in 1991 in a U.S. government study and followed for a number of years.

"Among the four parenting styles, authoritarian parenting was associated with the highest risk of overweight among young children," concluded the study published in the June issue of "Pediatrics," the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

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