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Monday, 24 March 2014 13:43

New Study: Parenting Styles and Childhood Obesity

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A new study from McGill University in Montreal, Canada indicates a connection between childhood obesity and parenting styles. The study identified two parenting styles - authoritarian vs. authoritative and compared associated obesity rates in children. "Authoritative" parents were defined as demanding but responsive to their children's emotions and issues. "Authoritarian" was defined as demanding, but not responsive (i.e., "tiger mom").

According to MedicalNewsToday, "Results showed that kids whose parents were authoritarian had a 30% higher likelihood of being obese in kids between 2 and 5 years old, while kids between 6 and 11 years old had a 37% higher chance. This is compared with children whose parents were authoritative."

Although the reasons for the study results aren't clear, American Heart Association spokesman Dr. Stephen R. Daniels writes, "Ignoring bad behavior but rewarding good behavior is the best way to think about this. Punishing bad behavior and ignoring good behavior doesn't work from a psychological standpoint."

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