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Compelling your children to eat might actually harm them: Study

Parents are always worried about the health of their children. They strive to follow as well as make their children follow the best eating habits always. Children, on the other hand tend to skip those “healthy” foods that their parents plan, thereby prompting parents to force their little ones to finish up everything served on the plate. And this in return actually does more harm than good, finds a new study.

Norwegian scientists discovered in a new study that forced eating disturbs normal eating manner, putting a child at an increased risk of gaining unhealthy weight.

Silje Steinsbekk who is the assistant professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said and the lead researcher of the study has worked with children suffering from obesity for several years.

She stressed in the report that to encourage the formation of normal eating pattern, a children must learn to decide the quantity of food intake they want to have. However, she said that most obese children fail to understand when they’re full thus, requiring the help of their parents’ to control their food consumption.

Steinsbekk said that if children are pushed to finish up everything provided on their plates, they might cease to count on their own body indications, and eat until their parents are content.

The research is a fragment of a long-term experiment namely “Tidlig Trygg I Trondheim (TtiT), which scrutinizes the psychological as well as psychosocial development over many years. The same children are assessed every two years, and in this particular research, the team handled with figures from the time when the children were 4, 6 and 8 years old.

Steinsbekk stated that they looked into the research to check if physical activity, appetite characteristics and television time could “explain why some children’s body mass index (BMI) increases more than others’ do.”

The research team discovered that physical activity and television time couldn’t explain why the BMI of some children elevated more than others, and that the manner in which a child was associated to food and eating was indeed important.

“Our study shows that BMI increases more in children where food especially triggers their eating behavior. Their food intake is controlled more by the sight and smell of food, and less by an inner experience of hunger,” Steinsbekk added.

The study has been published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2014, over 1.9 billion adults (18 years or older) were reported to be overweight out of which 600 million were obese.

WHO also reported that in 2013, 42 million children under the age of 5 were reported to be obese or overweight of which nearly 31 million thrives in developing countries.

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