• Record: found
  • Abstract: found
  • Article: found
Is Open Access

Does parenting affect children's eating and weight status?

Read this article at

      There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


      BackgroundWorldwide, the prevalence of obesity among children has increased dramatically. Although the etiology of childhood obesity is multifactorial, to date, most preventive interventions have focused on school-aged children in school settings and have met with limited success. In this review, we focus on another set of influences that impact the development of children's eating and weight status: parenting and feeding styles and practices. Our review has two aims: (1) to assess the extent to which current evidence supports the hypothesis that parenting, via its effects on children's eating, is causally implicated in childhood obesity; and (2) to identify a set of promising strategies that target aspects of parenting, which can be further evaluated as possible components in childhood obesity prevention.MethodsA literature review was conducted between October 2006 and January 2007. Studies published before January 2007 that assessed the association between some combination of parenting, child eating and child weight variables were included.ResultsA total of 66 articles met the inclusion criteria. The preponderance of these studies focused on the association between parenting and child eating. Although there was substantial experimental evidence for the influence of parenting practices, such as pressure, restriction, modeling and availability, on child eating, the majority of the evidence for the association between parenting and child weight, or the mediation of this association by child eating, was cross-sectional.ConclusionTo date, there is substantial causal evidence that parenting affects child eating and there is much correlational evidence that child eating and weight influence parenting. There are few studies, however, that have used appropriate meditational designs to provide causal evidence for the indirect effect of parenting on weight status via effects on child eating. A new approach is suggested for evaluating the effectiveness of intervention components and creating optimized intervention programs using a multiphase research design. Adoption of approaches such as the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) is necessary to provide the mechanistic evidence-base needed for the design and implementation of effective childhood obesity prevention programs.

      Related collections

      Most cited references 84

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: not found

      The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations.

      In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators.
        • Record: found
        • Abstract: found
        • Article: not found

        Prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States, 1999-2004.

        The prevalence of overweight in children and adolescents and obesity in adults in the United States has increased over several decades. To provide current estimates of the prevalence and trends of overweight in children and adolescents and obesity in adults. Analysis of height and weight measurements from 3958 children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years and 4431 adults aged 20 years or older obtained in 2003-2004 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative sample of the US population. Data from the NHANES obtained in 1999-2000 and in 2001-2002 were compared with data from 2003-2004. Estimates of the prevalence of overweight in children and adolescents and obesity in adults. Overweight among children and adolescents was defined as at or above the 95th percentile of the sex-specific body mass index (BMI) for age growth charts. Obesity among adults was defined as a BMI of 30 or higher; extreme obesity was defined as a BMI of 40 or higher. In 2003-2004, 17.1% of US children and adolescents were overweight and 32.2% of adults were obese. Tests for trend were significant for male and female children and adolescents, indicating an increase in the prevalence of overweight in female children and adolescents from 13.8% in 1999-2000 to 16.0% in 2003-2004 and an increase in the prevalence of overweight in male children and adolescents from 14.0% to 18.2%. Among men, the prevalence of obesity increased significantly between 1999-2000 (27.5%) and 2003-2004 (31.1%). Among women, no significant increase in obesity was observed between 1999-2000 (33.4%) and 2003-2004 (33.2%). The prevalence of extreme obesity (body mass index > or =40) in 2003-2004 was 2.8% in men and 6.9% in women. In 2003-2004, significant differences in obesity prevalence remained by race/ethnicity and by age. Approximately 30% of non-Hispanic white adults were obese as were 45.0% of non-Hispanic black adults and 36.8% of Mexican Americans. Among adults aged 20 to 39 years, 28.5% were obese while 36.8% of adults aged 40 to 59 years and 31.0% of those aged 60 years or older were obese in 2003-2004. The prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents and obesity among men increased significantly during the 6-year period from 1999 to 2004; among women, no overall increases in the prevalence of obesity were observed. These estimates were based on a 6-year period and suggest that the increases in body weight are continuing in men and in children and adolescents while they may be leveling off in women.
          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          Obesity in children and young people: a crisis in public health.

           ,  T Lobstein,  R Uauy (2004)

            Author and article information

            [1 ]The Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Department of Nutritional Sciences and The Center for Childhood Obesity Research; The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
            Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
            The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
            BioMed Central
            17 March 2008
            : 5
            : 15
            Copyright © 2008 Ventura and Birch; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


            Nutrition & Dietetics


            Comment on this article