Health and Fitness

Parent Feeding Practices are Linked to Children’s Weight Status

Elk Grove Village, IL—(ENEWSPF)—August 27, 2015. Because child and adolescent obesity is linked to a number of health problems, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it’s important to recognize factors in a child’s home environment that could be modified to prevent overweight and obesity. One modifiable factor is how parents interact with their adolescents around food.

In the study, “Parent/Adolescent Weight Status Concordance and Parent Feeding Practices,” appearing in the August 2015 issue of Pediatrics (published online August 24), researchers examine the correlation between parent feeding practices and the weight status of a parent and adolescent. Data for this study came from two coordinated, population-based studies: Eating and Activity in Teens (EAT) and Families and Eating and Activity in Teens (F-EAT) from 2010. In order to measure parent feeding practices, researchers used an adapted version of the Child Feeding Questionnaire. Researchers found that parents use feeding practices, like pressure-to-eat and food restriction, in response to both their children’s and their own weight. For example, parents used the highest levels of food restriction when both parents and adolescents were overweight. The use of these feeding practices potentially shapes further weight-related behaviors and influences adolescent weight gain or loss over time.

The results from this study may be used to inform health care providers about which adolescents have the highest risk of becoming overweight and whom to target in interventions.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 64,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. (