Firm dads lead way for kids in fat fight

Started by alien, May 05, 2007, 09:21 PM

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Firm dads lead way for kids in fat fight

Louise Hall
May 6, 2007

THE parenting style of fathers, but not mothers, determines whether a child becomes overweight or obese, ground-breaking Australian research has found.

The study of 5000 four- and five-year-olds showed children whose fathers had permissive or disengaged parenting styles had a higher risk of being too heavy.

Children of fathers who offered a "good balance between warmth, attention and discipline" were less likely to be overweight or obese, Melbourne's Centre for Community Child Health found.

The findings, believed to be a world-first analysis of the link between paternal parenting and preschoolers' body mass index (BMI), were presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Society in Toronto, Canada, yesterday.

"Mothers are often blamed for their children's obesity, but this study suggests that for more effective prevention perhaps we should look at the whole family," lead author Associate Professor Melissa Wake said.

Mothers and fathers rated their parenting behaviour on warmth, control and irritability; and were categorised into four styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and disengaged.

After adjusting for the father's BMI, which is known to affect their children's weight, fathers who allowed children freedom without limits were more likely to have heavier children.

Fathers whose parenting was more consistent - such as in setting limits and following through with instructions - were less likely to have overweight or obese children. Mothers' parenting styles had no impact.

Co-author Jan Nicholson from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute said the results were surprising.

"Weight is related to diet and exercise and men potentially exert greater influence on the food available and the behaviour allowed," she said.
Source: The Sun-Herald


This Baumrind scale is fascinating in its own right.
I will be doing some research into this.

Authoritative: High expectations, child centered
(stern but loving parent)
Authoritarian: High expectations, parent centered
(control freak)
Permissive: Low expectations, child centered
(new age, hippy parents)
Neglectful: Low expectations, parent centered
(Al & Peg Bundy from "Married, with Children" tv show)

Hold your nose and take a peek at wikipedia
The neutrality of the article is in dispute and that's
always a good sign.
The Lord works in strange ways; and with strange people.

dr e

I was wondering what the rate would be for single parent families.  Would be interesting to compare single mother homes and obesity of the children with single father homes and obesity of the kids.  Then compare those to the findings above.  My guess would be that the kids in a single mother household would be more obese.  Maybe I am wrong.  This would go along with the increase in obesity in the US and the parallel increase in fatherlessness.
Contact dr e  Lifeboats for the ladies and children, icy waters for the men.  Women have rights and men have responsibilties.

The Biscuit Queen

An anectdotal tale:

A friend of a friend has a little boy. When he was living with dad, he was a tad bit heavy, but not obese. He was active, and ate well. His mother decided to marry a man she knew for a month, and thus gained immediate custody for having an intact family (?) I shit you not, the judge felt this was more stable than being with dad who lived in the original family home!

Within months, this 8 year old boy gained over 30 pounds. I saw this myself, when he came over for a birthday party.  He had stopped playing outside because he moved away from his friends, so he sat inside on the playstation all day. He ate oreos for lunch, and drank soda constantly. He became morbidly obese a short time after moving in with his mother. The poor kid was so fat that he couldn't run, and would trip on stairs all the time. He just was so sad.

Oh, and she divorced the new hubby 2 months after marrying him, but somehow the court did not see this as a problem.  :rolle:
he Biscuit Queen

There are always two extremes....the truth lies in the middle.

Mr. X

And if a firm dad helps with weight control I wonder what else firmness helps with... hmmmmm. Perhaps simply having a firm dad is a good thing.
Feminists - "Verbally beating men like dumb animals or ignoring them is all we know and its not working."

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