If parents want to help their children lose weight, they should lose weight themselves, a new study shows.
"Parents are the most significant people in a child's environment, serving as the first and most important teachers," said Kerri N. Boutelle, associate professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of California-San Diego. "They play a signifiant role in any weight-loss program for children, and this study confirms the importance of their example in establishing healthy eating and exercise behaviors for their kids."
Researchers analyzed 80 adults who were parent to a 8- to 12-year child who was either overweight or obese for five months. Some adults participated in a parent-only treatment program, while others were in a program designed for themselves and their child.
The study looked at "the impact of three types of parenting skills taught in family-based behavioral treatment for childhood obesity, and the impact of each on the child's body weight: the parent modeling behaviors to promote their own weight loss, changes in home food environment, and parenting style and techniques (for example, a parent's ability to help limit the child's eating behavior, encouraging the child and participating in program activities)," reports research-reporting service Newswise. (Read more)