Set rules for kids to make them behave better
In a new study, scientists have found that family rules food and manners set by parents promote healthier behavior in children.
Washington: In a new study, scientists have found that family rules food and manners set by parents promote healthier behavior in children.
Researchers at the Indiana University analyzed data, which was originally part of a data set used to evaluate the Wellborn Baptist Foundation's HEROES program, and looked further into the connection between family rules and sedentary behavior and eating behavior, as well as family rules and weight status.
Lead author Alyssa M. Lederer said that since childhood obesity had become a health crisis, they were trying to see what could be done to lessen the toll.
Data for the study was collected from a sample of nearly 3,000 participants from fourth through eighth grade. The family rules that were specifically analyzed related to time spent watching television, playing video games and on the computer, and what children were or were not allowed to eat.
Primarily, the study showed that students coming from households with healthy behavioral guidelines tended to make healthier choices for themselves. For example, the children with set family rules for what they could or could not eat were less likely to consume fast food and were more likely to eat fruits and vegetables than students without guidelines.
The same went for time spent with television, video games and computer use. Moreover, the study revealed a profile of the demographics of children most likely to have family rules, citing that students coming from families that had eating and sedentary rules were more likely to be younger, female, white and of lower socioeconomic status.
Although no direct correlation between family rules and weight status was evident from the data, there was a direct correlation between the healthy behaviors shown and weight status. Lederer said that this meant that the family rules might play more of an intermediary role in this regard-family health rules lead to behavioral change, and behavioral change leads to weight-loss.
The study was presented at the American Public Health Association's Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana.