Clean plate club membership may open door to obesity
April 23rd, 2013
09:30 AM ET
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While growing up, many children may have heard "clean your plate" or been denied candy. But how do parental attitudes toward food affect a child's weight?

Denying certain foods to children or pressuring them to eat every bit of a meal are common practices among many parents. But researchers at the University of Minnesota found parents who restricted foods were more likely to have overweight or obese children. And while those who pressured children to eat all of their meals mostly had children of normal weight, it adversely affected the way those children ate as they grew older, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Investigators combined data from two separate research studies. The first, EAT 2010 (Eating and Activity in Teens), studied around 2,800 middle and high school students from public schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Participants in the project responded to survey questionnaires designed to examine dietary intake and weight status.

Researchers combined that data with information from the Project F-EAT (Families and Eating and Activity Among Teens), a study designed to examine factors within the family environment on weight in adolescents.

From the combined information, researchers were able to gain a better understanding of how parents' approach to food and feeding is related to adolescents' weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity now affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the United States – triple the rate from just a generation ago.

Read - Pushing kids to eat may cause obesity later

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Neal

    A total load of crap. Obesity in Japan is nearly non-existent (although it is growing thanks to fast food) and every Japanese child from elementary school through high school is expected to clean his or her plate.

    April 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  2. billybob

    They imply causality between the two when in fact causality may not even exist or it could be exactly the reverse of the implication in the study. If you actually go find the study itself it will likely say that causality has not been established and should be a focus of future study, because correlation is easy to determine, causality not so much.

    The danger of having a journalist summarizing a research study is that they often don't understand the study and relay the wrong information.

    April 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  3. Orlando

    What i don't realize is if truth be told how you are not actually much more well-appreciated than you might be right now. You are very intelligent. You know therefore significantly on the subject of this subject, made me individually consider it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men aren't fascinated except it is something to do with Woman gaga!
    Your individual stuffs outstanding. All the time handle it up!

    April 24, 2013 at 6:07 am |
  4. Rob

    Good eating habits definitley begin at a very young age. I once saw a small girl who turned down cake because it was "too sweet."

    She then proceeded to start snacking on cucumber slices and baby carrots instead. My jaw nearly hit the floor. Now THAT'S good parenting!

    April 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  5. taniko

    Perhaps it depends what's on the plate you have to clean? If it's a pile of potatoes and fried food...

    April 23, 2013 at 9:20 am |
  6. VladT

    Funny....we always were told "Clean our plate" and yet no one in my family is obese. Could it be terrible snacking, too much tv, and not enough physical activity? You know, "ped0phile on every street corner" mentality mixed with lack of PE in public schools? Naw, it must be the mean parents who force kids to eat their veggies

    April 23, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • Rob

      It clearly states in the article "...those who pressured children to eat all of their meals mostly had children of normal weight..."

      April 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
      • Thanks Rob

        That's why we call him Vlad the Vindictive. ^_^

        April 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • VladT

          That's better then what most people call me :)

          April 26, 2013 at 7:12 am |
  7. Think for Yourself

    "Clean your plate" as a child can lead to being a people pleaser as an adult. Not a great way to teach your children well. Eat because you're hungry. Eat right because it's healthy. Eating for any other reason is a path towards bad habits, and possibly counseling, later in life. Cheers.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:15 am |
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