Obesity is a parenting issue

Parental involvement and obesity are linked. This study found that a key difference between obese and healthy-weight adolescents was in parental presence in the home, with parents of healthy adolescents more likely to be home to provide healthy food and monitor eating practices. Once again, not rocket science

NZ Herald Nov 26, 2010 
Parental shift work and the cost of food are contributing factors to Pacific children’s obesity rates in New Zealand, an Auckland University study has found. Young Pacific people have significantly higher levels of obesity (23.3 per cent) than the general population (8.3 per cent). Dr Tasileta Teevale led a team of researchers who surveyed 2495 Samoan, Cook Island, Tongan and other Pacific students. A qualitative phase also interviewed 33 adolescents and 35 parents from 30 Pacific households to further explore the sociocultural factors that promote or prevent obesity. Published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, the study found that a key difference between obese and healthy-weight adolescents was in parental presence in the home, with parents of healthy adolescents more likely to be home to provide healthy food and monitor eating practices. Parents in obese households were more likely to be working in shift-type employment – 54 per cent as compared with 8 per cent of households for a healthy weight student.

READ Bob McCoskrie: Onus on parents to set healthy example
Published in the NZ Herald 2006

But surely the ultimate way to promote healthy eating – and exercise and sleep patterns – is through parents. If parents believe in the benefits of healthy food, and are prepared to overcome factors such as cost, preparation time, pressure from children, and lack of convenience, we will start to see progress. Parental authority, and example, will be the best place to start towards a solution.

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