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Posts for tag: research

February 04, 2018
Category: Nutrition

From Medical News Today

How you speak to your child may fuel obesity


A recent study provides new insight into how language impacts childhood obesity. The researchers found that the parents of obese children were more likely to use direct statements to prevent them from consuming calorific treats.

Happy family eating

A new study investigates language and its role in childhood obesity.

Now that 1 in 3 children in the United States are either overweight or obese, every parent is concerned about their child's eating habits. Understanding how and why some children become obese is urgent.

The way that parents behave and interact while feeding their children is known to be important, but the story is complex. Restricting food can actually, paradoxically, increase how much a child eats overall.

Researchers recently set out to investigate a part of this conundrum: the role of language. They wanted to understand how the way in which we speak to our children about what they should or should not eat impacts dietary choices.

Language and obesity

It's a given that the way in which a parent speaks to their child has an impact on their behavior. And, according to the latest research — which is now published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior — this also applies to eating habits.

Lead researcher Dr. Megan Pesch, who is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, believes that the current study is the first to examine "the impact of parental direct imperatives in restricting a child's intake of unhealthy food."

Currently, there is little advice available on how to speak with children about their dietary choices. As Dr. Pesch explains, "So many of the guidelines are focused on what not to do. There's a lot of emphasis on what parents shouldn't be doing and what doesn't work."

The caregiver-child pairs were alone in a room and were presented with different foods, including chocolate cupcakes.In the study, Dr. Pesch and team — from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor — videotaped 237 mothers (or primary caregivers) and their children, who were aged 4–8. The caregivers were all from low-income homes, a demographic known to be particularly at risk of childhood obesity.

Dispelling parenting myths

There is a stigma attached to the parents of obese children. Often, people assume that they simply allow their child to eat whatever they want, whenever they want. This study demonstrated that the reverse was true. As Dr. Pesch explains, "They were attentive and actively trying to get their children to eat less junk food."

However, the scientists noted a subtly different linguistic approach. According to their findings, the caregivers of obese children were 90 percent more likely to use direct language, such as "Only eat one" or "You're eating both of those? No! Don't! Oh my gosh."

The mothers of children at a healthy weight, however, were more likely to use indirect phrases, such as "That's too much. You haven't had dinner."

This is the reverse of what might be expected; a more direct, firm message is thought to be most effective when talking to a child regarding discipline, or sleep, for instance.

"Indirect or subtle statements don't seem to work as well in general parenting. Direct messages are usually easier for kids to interpret and understand where the limits are. But there's more sensitivity around how to talk to children about eating and weight."

Dr. Megan Pesch

The authors note a number of limitations to the study. For instance, the caregivers knew that they were being filmed as part of an experiment, which could have altered their behavior.

Also, only individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were involved, and the new findings may not apply to other demographics.

As this is the first study of its kind, there will need to be much more work before firm conclusions can be drawn. Only then can solid advice be given to parents. Dr. Pesch and her team plan to continue this line of investigation.

"We hope," she says, "to find better answers to the ultimate question of what parents should do to help set their child up for healthy eating long-term."

April 17, 2016
Category: Immunizations
Tags: immunizations   Vaccines   Autism   DeNiro   fear   research  

This clip from the Today Show after Robert DeNiro pulled a movie from the Tribeca Film Festival supporting the DISPROVEN CLAIM of a relationship between Autism and Childhood Vaccines is interesting, but does not go far enough to reassure parents about the safety of childhood vaccines and the overwhelming evidence of NO RELATIONSHIP to vaccines as a cause of Autism.

Although Autism is real, many studies have FAILED to identify a relationship to vaccines or to thimersal, a preservative which is now removed from almost all childhood vaccines. In this video clip, one hears about the same frequency of Autism in children who receive vaccines accoding to the recommended effective vaccine schedule AND children who receive vaccines in a staggered and drawn out administration schedule. But the clip does NOT make the point, that children remain UNPROTECTED from childhood diseases when given immunizations in a delayed or deferred immunization schedule. 

Clearly parents of Autistic children are looking for the cause of their children's different development, as well they should. So is Medical Science. We are fortunate in Atlanta to have one of the facilites funded to continue this improtant research_The Marcus Autism Center. 

The makers of the movie pulled by DeNiro present a theory of cause for Autism that was reported based on falsified research data. The original published article was retracted years later. The author of the original biased discredited article was rebuked by the scientific community and lost his medical license in Great Britain. Much research has been done since the original article by different authors, published in different journals, reviewed by many different scientist and all show NO RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN VACCINES & AUTISM. Yet the public remains fearful of vaccines and a growing number of children are inadequaletly immunized putting all children and the community in general at risk of preventable diseases. 

Bottom line: if parents are concerned about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, please discuss your concerns with your doctors and don't forget to discuss as well the diseases that vaccines are designed to prevent. 

Dr. T