Smaller bowls may keep kids from overeating

Nov. 25, 2013, HealthDay

Having youngsters use smaller bowls may be one way to help reduce childhood obesity, a new study suggests.

In their first experiment, researchers gave 8- or 16-ounce bowls to 69 preschoolers. Adults then served the children cereal and milk in increments until the children said they’d had enough. Children with the larger bowls asked for 87 percent more cereal and milk.

How much kids weighed or whether they were boys or girls did not affect how much food they requested. Continue reading

Kids who add sleep can subtract pounds, study suggests

Nov. 4, 2013, HealthDay

Getting kids to eat less may be as simple as making sure they get a good night’s sleep, a new small study suggests.

That doesn’t mean sleep is the answer to the U.S. obesity epidemic, but it might be one part of the solution, according to study author Chantelle Hart, an associate professor of public health at Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education in Philadelphia.

The three-week study of 37 children, aged 8 to 11, suggests that increasing sleep could decrease food intake and improve weight regulation in this age group, she said.

Hart said the next step is looking at whether getting more sleep over a longer period might have an even more dramatic effect on weight.

“Achieving a good night’s sleep during childhood should be explored as an important strategy to enhance prevention and intervention approaches for obesity,” she said. Continue reading

Pushing kids to eat may cause obesity later

April 22, 2013, CNN Health [The Chart Blog]

While growing up, many children may have heard “clean your plate” or been denied candy. But how do parental attitudes toward food affect a child’s weight?

Denying certain foods to children or pressuring them to eat every bit of a meal are common practices among many parents. But researchers at the University of Minnesota found parents who restricted foods were more likely to have overweight or obese children. And while those who pressured children to eat all of their meals mostly had children of normal weight, it adversely affected the way those children ate as they grew older, according to the study published April 22 in the journal Pediatrics. Continue reading