A new Australian study finds that children of parents who set consistent rules (about behaviours like TV viewing, dinner time and physical activity) have a slightly lower body-mass index [BMI]; they're healthier.
The study at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne involved more than 4,000 children and their parents who participated in a long-term study of Australian children. Starting in 2004 when the children were 4 or 5 years old, parents reported their offspring's height and weight and described their parenting styles four different times every two years.
Both mothers and fathers who enforced clear guidelines had a similar effect on their children's weight -- regardless of their own weight. The researchers found an association between consistent parenting and healthy weights in children. They suggest that the programs aimed at helping children reach a healthy weight should include the aspect of parenting styles.
The new study is published online in the recent edition of the journal Pediatrics.
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