Parents’ Eating Behavior Influences Their Teens’ Eating Habits: Study

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Psychology News

Researchers at the research group, Elsevier, revealed how parents’ eating behavior influences teen eating habits. The study is published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

The Study

The researchers surveyed longitudinal data involving 218 families. One parent from each family completed the Child Feeding Questionnaire and the Child Feeding Practices Questionnaire. Both adolescents and parents completed the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire.

The participants’ emotional regulation was assessed with the Dutch version of the child-reported FEEL-KJ questionnaire. The adolescent participants’ height and body weight were also assessed.

The Findings

The results revealed that the eating behaviors of parents significantly impacted emotional eating in adolescents. Particularly, if parents have unhealthy eating practices triggered by stress-driven emotions, there is a high chance that these habits will encourage emotional eating by teens.

The findings also attest to the strong link between parental influence on eating behavior in children and unhealthy dietary patterns and weight gain.

The lead authors elaborated: “This study suggests that parents continue to play an important role in their child’s eating behavior into their teen years … Not only the interaction between parents when feeding their children but also what children learned from watching their parents eat [play a significant role in teens’ emotional eating].

To Know More You May Refer To

Klosowska, J., Verbeken, S., Braet, C., De Henauw, S., & Michels, N. (2022). Emotion Regulation Moderates the Associations of Food Parenting and Adolescent Emotional Eating. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 54(9), 808–817.

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