Washington: Parents educated in an approach based on “division of responsibility” (DOR) for eating put less pressure on their children to eat certain foods —which may reduce the child’s risk of obesity—according to the new research.The study led by Dr W Stewart Agras of Stanford University adds to the evidence that the DOR approach can promote healthy development of appetite and eating behaviours in young children.The study included 62 families with a toddler (aged two to four) considered at high risk of obesity—with at least one parent who was obese or overweight. One group of parents was educated in the DOR concept, which takes a child-development approach to “parent/child feeding interactions.”Dr Agras explained, “At the family level parent feeding practices, such as taking control over their child’s eating, appear to contribute to childhood overweight.”In the DOR approach, parents take responsibility for providing and serving food, while children are responsible for deciding whether or not to eat and how much to eat. “The primary principle is that crossing parent or child boundaries leads to feeding problems,” according to the researchers. The other group of parents was assigned to the National Institutes of Health’s “We Can” program, which seeks to promote healthy eating and increased physical activity.
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