Overprotection Immobilizes Kids

Helicopter parenting leads to obesity

obese, healthy living magazine

obese, healthy living magazine

Overprotective parenting raises children that are more likely to be obese, says a new study from the Telethon Kids institute. The study examined data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, a group of 2600 children who were followed from age 4 to age 11.

In the study, published in the journal PLOS One others were rated on a Protectiveness Parenting Scale, which determined the proactiveness and protectiveness of the mothers involved. The study concluded that children of mothers who scored high on the test were 27% more likely to be overweight or obese. Mothers who scored moderately on the test were 13% more likely to have obese children. The study pointed out that most overprotective mothers have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage, which perhaps drove their overprotective instincts towards their children.

Read: Making Smart Children

Earlier studies have also shown that stricter parents have a similarly increased risk of having obese childen. "Rates of child obesity have increased over the last 30 years or so, and across the same time we've seen changes in levels of parent fear and the number of children who get driven to school, for example," says Kirsten Hancock, lead author of the study. "But so far there hasn't been any research that demonstrates a direct relationship between protectiveness and child overweight and obesity."

Read: Video Game As ADD Cure

These years are crucial to the development of a child's body; healthy kids should run, play and bike with their peers, says the author. "This is an age when kids are usually allowed to start walking or riding to school on their own, play more independently with friends and be more mobile, but those children with overprotective parents may not be getting this opportunity and this could be impacting on their physical health and wellbeing."

comments powered by Disqus