Saturday, December 09, 2006

Study links mother's poor impulse control with obesity in children

Our motto at Parenting the At Risk Child is, "Model, Teach, Influence." If parents want their children to learn impulse control, they have to model it. There are seven things that give us pleasure that we have to learn to regulate our drives for during childhood and adolescence. These things are food, comfort, entertainment, affection, possessions, social dominance and sex. Parents have to model restraint and management of impulses in each of these areas.

In a recent paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition entitled, Like mother, like daughter: familial patterns of overweight are mediated by mothers' dietary dis inhibition.TM Cutting and coauthors discuss the role of maternal impulse control in daughter's obesity. These authors found that the correlation between a mother's obesity and a preschool daughter's obesity is mediated by mothers modeling poor control over eating impulses. Mothers who model restraint when it comes to food choices, have thinner, healthier children.

We live in a culture of hypocrisy. Personal qualities like being thin, not being sexually promiscuous, and doing well in school are all valued. These qualities all require impulse control. However the influences that surround us favor unrestrained gratification of all the drives. This hypocrisy gives rise to anorexia nervosa as well as obesity.

To help our children achieve the balance in pleasure that is essential for a healthy, productive life, we must help them learn pleasure in loving affection and restraint of the other basic drives. Restraint doesn't always mean deprivation. Restraint means not allowing any drive to control our behavior.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was rather interesting for me to read the blog. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I would like to read more on that blog soon.