Are parents' practices related to food intake associated with adolescent's weight status?
The study, "Food-Related Parenting Practices and Adolescent Weight Status: A Population-Based Study
," in the May 2013 Pediatrics (published online April 22) found that the use of controlling food-related parenting practices, including food restriction and pressure-to-eat, were common among parents of adolescents.
Food restriction was more commonly reported by parents of overweight or obese adolescents, while pressure-to-eat feeding practices were more commonly used by parents of non-overweight teens. In addition, fathers were more likely than mothers to use pressure-to-eat feeding practices and adolescent boys were more likely than adolescent girls to be on the receiving end of pressure-to-eat. The use of food restriction practices did not vary by parent or adolescent gender.
The authors conclude that instead of using food restriction or pressure-to-eat parenting practices, parents of adolescents should be encouraged to use behaviors known to protect against unhealthy weight gain. These protective behaviors include eating regular meals as a family, making nutritious foods readily available in the home, modeling healthy food choices and encouraging teens' autonomy in self-regulation of food intake.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is
an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical
subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the
health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and
young adults. (www.aap.org)