Psychologist Denise Wilfley thinks she one of the keys to fighting the rising prevalence of childhood obesity. Her suggestion? Avoid the food power struggle in the first place by not bringing unhealthy foods into the home.The findings of her research were published in 2007 in the Journal of the American Medical Association(Vol. 298, No. 14). She notes that obese children need ongoing support from adults and peers to drop their extra weight–and keep it off. But according to Wilfley, it’s not a matter of willpower.
So many parents say, ‘My kid should have willpower to stop eating’, but that’s not the right approach…part of good parenting is avoiding the food power struggle in the first place by not bringing unhealthy foods into the home. The decision should be made at the grocery store, not at the dinner table.
Supporting her stance, Wilfley’s research demonstrated that children who lost weight were more likely to be successful at keeping the weight off after two years if their parents and friends supported improved habits such as increased exercise and healthy eating regimens. The message to parents and caregivers of obese children is clear: help children make healthy choices and model healthy eating and an active lifestyle.
Reported in the Monitor on Psychology, October 2011, p. 17. Image © 2009 Tobyotter, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.
Like us on facebook.com/homewoodhumansolutions
Follow @HomewoodHS on Twitter
Watch us on our HomewoodHS YouTube channel