It seems that parental influence can truly impact children. In a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers examined overweight/obese children (ages 2-5) who underwent a weight loss program with an overweight/obese parent. In this behavioral intervention program, researchers monitored children’s weight gain over a 2 year period and found that children whose parents took part in the program gained less weight than those whose parents did not participate. In other words, their body mass index decreased. The parents who participated lost weight, suggesting that targeting both parent and child at the same time would yield better overall results.
This weight loss program focused on teaching parents about how to choose healthy foods and to avoid bad foods such as those with high amounts of sugar. They were also told to keep track of daily physical activity. Through this training, parents essentially taught their children about healthy choices and were more careful in their selection of foods in their homes. The program was focused on changing eating behaviors and choices. Results of this study suggest that behavioral interventions in a primary care setting, and those done with parents and children together, can lead to successful changes in weight.
Studies like this support the idea that lifestyle changes and weight loss can be a group effort at home, and that involving the entire family can bring about great changes for all members of the household. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can do this with your family, talk to your weight loss consultant at Florida Aesthetics today!