International Journal of Obesity published a new study on the activities of the mother and child. In the study, Truls Ostbye, a professor of family and community medicine at Duke University, and his colleagues report their findings should serve as a reminder to both their mothers and fathers to be role models for their sons and daughters.
Moreover, they claim that the study emphasizes the importance of parental policies that promote physical activity and healthy eating - especially for young children. In fact, more than a quarter of all American children between the ages of two and five are already overweight or obese, the Duke researchers noted.
"Obesity is a complex phenomenon, which is influenced by biological factors and behavior of individuals," said Ostbye. "But there is variation in obesity from one society to another and from one environment to another, so obviously there is something in the environment that influence the obesity epidemic."
'Environment' obesiogenic 'broad and multi-faceted, including the physical environment environment, media and advertising, and the meals tax policy, but we feel that the home environment is very important, especially among children. However, we do not have much evidence to the importance of this, "he added.
To emphasize the importance of both the home environment and parenting behaviors in shaping eating behaviors and physical kids, Ostbye and colleagues studied data from 190 preschoolers whose mothers were overweight or obese.
They gather information about each child's dietary intake over the past week, separating them into two categories: junk food or healthy food. In addition, children who are equipped with accelerometers for a week to measure the amount of time they are physically active (as well as the time they spend doing sedentary job).
The mothers also reveal information about the home environment, including family policies that govern food and physical activity, the availability of both health food and junk food, the availability of physical activity or sports equipment, and whether or not they served as role models for healthy eating and exercise habits.
After analyzing all the data, the team Ostbye who "found a significant relationship between the size of the environment and physical activity of preschoolers' and healthier than junk food intake," Durham, North Carolina said university. They concluded that a healthy home environment and parental role modeling effective both play an important role in promoting healthy behaviors in children between the ages of two and five.
The study authors reported that limiting the amount of junk food available for preschool children in the home increases the amount of healthy food that kids will eat and daughters, and that the home environment is more influential when it comes to the level of physical activity habits of eating. They also emphasized that research shows that children who watch their parents' behavior and take the good and bad habits of the mother and father.
"It's hard for parents to change their behavior, but not only is this important for you and your own health, but also important for your child because you are a role model for them," Duke said research analyst and study co-investigator Marissa Stroo. "It may be common sense, but now we have some evidence to support this."
Ostbye, Stroo and colleagues also analyzed the level of education, employment situation and other socio-economic factors of the mother. They found that these factors did not influence the physical activity levels of their children, but had "mixed results" when it comes to healthy eating habits. The researchers suggest that additional research is needed to better understand the impact that the socio-economic situation of the mother towards her children's health.