Health and Fitness

Emotional Eating in Kids: How Much of It Is Mom’s Fault? – Consumer Health News

SATURDAY, April 30, 2022 (HealthDay News) — If a mom reaches for muffins, sweets or different snacks when she’s feeling down, her kids might turn out to be emotional eaters as nicely.

Kids’ probabilities of changing into emotional eaters are formed by each their pure consuming tendencies and their mother or father’s affect, in keeping with a brand new British research.

Emotional consuming refers to indulging in “comfort” meals when feeling unhappy or anxious, not since you’re hungry.

“Our findings recommend that kids who have been extra motivated to eat have been extra predisposed to affiliate meals with feelings,” said study co-author Rebecca Stone, a Ph.D. student at Aston University in Birmingham.

“Our analysis helps the concept that emotional consuming is a discovered habits which kids typically develop in preschool years, however that some kids are extra weak to growing emotional consuming than others,” Stone added in a university news release.

In this study, the researchers surveyed 185 U.K. mothers of young children, ages 3-5, about their eating habits and those of their children.

Questions included how much the mothers and their children ate in response to their emotions and how much children were motivated by food and ate or asked for food throughout the day.

Mothers were also asked whether they used food to reward children for good behavior or restricted children’s access to certain foods — having certain foods in the house but forbidding them to eat it. Both practices make children more interested in food and have been linked to greater emotional eating in children, the researchers pointed out.

Children who were very motivated by food were more likely to pick up emotional eating from their mothers, according to the study.

The problem with eating for comfort is it can lead to overeating, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Study co-author Claire Farrow, a professor at the university’s School of Psychology and one of Stone’s supervisors, said the study demonstrates that the way that children develop eating behaviors is very complex, and that emotional eating appears to be shaped in part by an innate drive towards food.

“In this research we discovered that parenting practices work together with kids’s consuming tendencies and that kids who’re probably the most pushed to strategy meals are probably the most influenced by feeding practices that may result in emotional consuming,” Farrow explained.

“These findings suggests {that a} ‘one measurement suits all’ strategy to youngster feeding isn’t all the time acceptable and that some kids are extra vulnerable to the affect of behaviors that may result in emotional consuming,” Farrow said in the release.

Withholding food isn’t the solution for these kids, the researchers said. The findings also suggest “that proscribing meals in entrance of kids who’re already extra motivated by meals tends to backfire and makes kids crave restricted meals much more,” Stone said.

The results were recently published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

More information

Nemours has tips for promoting healthy eating habits in your kids.

SOURCE: Aston University, news release, April 13, 2022

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