Parenting Style Linked To Fat Kids

by Jon Henshaw

The Diet Blog brought my attention to a new study published in Pediatrics that suggests parenting style influences weight gain children.

The parenting styles that were measured were Authoritarian, Permissive, Authoritative and Neglectful. The results and conclusion were very interesting.


A total of 872 children, 11.1% overweight and 82.8% white, were included in the analysis. Children of authoritarian mothers (n = 298) had an increased risk of being overweight, compared with children of authoritative mothers (n = 179). Children of permissive (n = 132) and neglectful (n = 263) mothers were twice as likely to be overweight, compared with children of authoritative mothers. Of the covariates, only income/needs ratio was significant and did not alter the relationship between parenting style and overweight risk.


Among the 4 parenting styles, authoritarian parenting was associated with the highest risk of overweight among young children. Understanding the mechanisms through which parenting styles are associated with overweight risk may lead to the development of more-comprehensive and better-targeted interventions.

Based on their research, an Authoritative parenting style (balanced approach) is associated with a lower percentage of overweight children, while an Authoritarian parenting style (overly strict) is associated with the highest incidents of overweight children. It shows once more that a balanced approach to parenting, instead of a strict and emotionally crippling style, helps make children healthier.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 6th, 2006 at 11:13 am and is filed under Parenting, Weight Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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