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Strict Parenting Raises Risk Of Child Obiesity

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Child obesity is a problem in today's society. Another problem in today's society is parent-child relationships. A recent study showed that these two problems may be linked. In this chapter we learned of three different types of parenting. They are authoritarian, having complete control over a child without thinking of one's feelings, permissive, not really caring what your child does either way, and authoritative, making the rules known while still thinking of your child. The study has shown that children with authoritarian parents are five times more like to be obese then children with authoritative parents, and three times more likely then children with permissive parents.

Dr. Rhee led the study, he wanted to know if the parents were part of the reason children were becoming more and more overweight. So he took a sample of children from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development to figure out what percentage were over weight. "Rhee and team analyzed 872 children, of which 11% were overweight" (MEDICAL NEWS TODAY PAR. 5). The next step taken by Dr. Rhee and his team was to decide which percent of the children had authoritarian parents.

His results were overwhelming he found that five times as many over weight children were children of authoritarian parents. To create an un-bias conclusion he also found that two times as many children with permissive and neglectful parents were also overweight. "Here are some comparisons of incidence of overweight when compared to children of Authoritative parents: -- Children of Authoritarian Parents: 5 times higher risk of being overweight, Children of Permissive Parents: 2 times the risk of being overweight, Neglectful: 2 times the risk of being overweight" (MEDICAL NEWS TODAY PAR. 6). This study showed the children of parents that were too strict or didn't show concern for their children were more likely to be over weight, at least more so then children with authoritative parents.

Dr. Rhee wasn't quite sure why these results were accurate; she thought it was because all the decisions of children with authoritarian parents are made by the parent. For example they will tell you to finish your food rather then give you the choice of actually being full. "Perhaps, said Rhee, Authoritative parents provide the child with both the space and the guidance to develop his/her own self-regulatory abilities. She suggested that perhaps, while an authoritarian parent will just order the child to finish of his/her vegetable, an authoritative parent might offer two or three and give the child some choice" (MEDICAL NEWS TODAY PAR 8). The space that is given to children with authoritative parents helps them decide on what they want to eat, and how much they want to eat. On the other hand children with authoritarian parents tell their children what and how much to eat, making the choice of being full impossible.

Adding to the fact that the authoritarian parent makes the decisions of when a child should stop eating, it stops the child from ever realizing when they are full.



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