Study Suggests Link Between Strict Parenting And Obesity

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. - Jennifer Brammer is from Fishersville. She has three kids and says that she sets boundaries for her children.

"I think that parenting is a challenge," Brammer says.

According to a new study, she needs good boundaries. The professor with McGill University conducted this study and it shows a link between strict parenting and a child's risk at becoming obese.

It found that strict or authoritarian parents had a 37% higher chance of their children, between the ages of six and eleven, becoming obese.

Doctor Meyer with Augusta Psychological Associates thinks there definitely is a link between obesity and less affectionate parents. He says, that could lead to other issues as well.

"We don't know that adverse parenting styles cause obesity. We just know that they are associated in some way," says Dr. Meyer. "That particular parenting style of being strict and demanding without being balanced by affection, reassurance, and kindness is linked to a lot of other negative behaviors -- sometimes early drug use and other types of misbehavior, as well as, perhaps overeating."

Staunton resident David Sutton has a son and thinks he can be strict at times, but he also has some doubts about the study's effectiveness.

"I'm pretty strict I guess, but we try to pay attention to nutrition and activity for the kids," Sutton says, "It's important to strike a balance in how you raise the children that will make me tilt one direction or another. I wouldn't say one study would determine that, " he says.


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