One piece of information that is commonly used by experts is that parental lifestyle choices and their BMIs can influence their children’s habits and encourage or stop their chance at obesity. What a parent models for their child in terms of eating habits, exercise, and lifestyle choices will eventually impact the choices that his/her child learn to make. Because of this, experts emphasize the importance of parents making healthy choices. In doing so, they will help protect their children from the risk of obesity.
Interestingly, the influence of parents and children can come from either direction. In a recent study by Tufts University, researchers found that parents involved in a community obesity-intervention program that their children were a part of lost weight and saw a slight drop in their BMI. What this suggests is that parent-child “partnership” when it comes to living and eating healthy can pay off for both. By taking part in the program, parents are encouraging their children to fight their obesity. Their involvement gives them the tools they need to start making the right choices at home and to help their children make the right choices. It also helps parents become aware of the factors that may have led their children (and perhaps themselves) on the path towards obesity.
Combined, it appears that these factors have an impact on parent as well as child. Increased awareness about nutrition and better ability to make smart choices makes for a healthier home. Both parent and child, as well as other members of the family, may eventually benefit from such an intervention program.
The specific program examined in the study included changing school lunch menus, teaching participants about nutrition, and increasing physical activity during and after school. It also provided parents with monthly news updates, recipes, and other helpful tools. Ultimately, the success of the program depended on a positive change in the children’s environment that allowed them to become healthier individuals.
Intervention programs like the one studied suggest the importance of family support when it comes to weight loss and aiming for a healthy lifestyle. Having your family on board with your commitment to a healthier you will have a positive impact on all of you, and will make it easier for you to reach your weight loss goals. If you’re interested in learning more about how to give and receive family support during your weight loss journey or the journey of a loved one, talk to your weight loss consultant at Florida Aesthetics today!