Strict moms, fat kids

Strict mothers are more likely to raise overweight children, according to a new study in the June issue of Pediatrics. Madison’s Capital Times reports:

Strict mothers were nearly five times more likely to raise tubby first-graders than mothers who treated their children with flexibility and respect while also setting clear rules.

But while the children of flexible rule-setting moms avoided obesity, the children of neglectful mothers and permissive mothers were twice as likely to get fat.

. . . (Dr. Kay) Rhee speculated that parents who show respect and warmth within a framework of rules may help their children learn to make good decisions about food and exercise. Or it could be that strict parents create a stressful household where overeating becomes a comfort and escape, she said.

Eat your dessert! Or else! Well, maybe not.

Update: Catallarchy says the study ignores genetics. Maybe overweight parents, who pass on their tendency to gain weight to their children, also tend to be strict.

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