herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Childhood treats are a recipe for obesity

Parents who hand their children food to quieten them down could be setting them up for a lifetime of weight problems, a new study has revealed.

The tactic can lead to a bad diet in adulthood, low self-esteem, comfort-eating and eating disorders.

It will also teach children to use food as a "source of solace" which fills an emotional void, research has suggested.

According to the YouGov study, those who recalled receiving food as a reward during childhood were more likely to have an obese BMI than those who were not given such handouts -- some 34pc compared with 25pc.





Dangers

They were also significantly more likely to have a history of dieting, have tried extreme weight-loss methods including starving themselves or making themselves sick, and eat high calorie foods to help them deal with feelings of stress.

Dr James Stubbs, who was involved in the research warned: "It's when parents repeatedly use high calorie foods as a quick way to appease their children when they're upset or to quieten them down when they misbehave that they begin storing up future problems for them."

hnews@herald.ie

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