Obesity In Toddlers And Parent Control Paper

Obesity In Toddlers And Parent Control Paper

During the early years of life, toddlers learn how much, what and when to eat by directly observing the eating behaviors of siblings, parents, and caregivers or through the experiences they have with food. Parents act as models when they make dietary choices within the household, decide on the family’s food choices and promote toddlers’ eating behaviors through feeding practices (Sahoo et al., 2015).  Currently, most practices in parenting are linked to perceived threats to the health and development of toddlers. As a result, food scarcity has influenced parental feeding practices such that, large toddlers are perceived to be healthy and a symbol of successful parenting. Therefore, most parents embrace dietary practices that increase toddler’s intake, promote weight gain and reduce distress. These dietary behaviors promote excessive weight gain, unhealthy diets, and obesity among toddlers who come from families with food over-abundance.


            Larsen et al., (2015) notes a positive association between toddler’s body weight and energy intake and the portion sizes based on toddler’s eating behaviors. Therefore, with regards to the foods selected for toddlers, parents who give in to toddler’s demands for energy-dense foods in large portions which increase energy intake negatively impact toddler’s weight status and eating behaviors hence promoting obesity. It is also worth noting that parents who promote toddler’s intake of highly palatable foods tend to promote the overconsumption and preference for the same foods especially when they are readily available. Highly palatable foods are rich in sugars, calories and have high fat content, a risk factor of childhood obesity. Obesity In Toddlers And Parent Control Paper

During the infancy period, infants prefer both the salty and sweet taste which increases their likelihood of accepting both sweet and salty foods in comparison to bitter foods. Their likelihood to accept different flavors and foods is however determined by parental behaviors through repeated exposure to accept different flavors as they exist in solid foods (Adamo & Brett, 2014). Parents who give in to toddler demands of either a sweet or salty taste limit their likelihood to accept new foods and are more likely to consume unhealthy diets later in life, increasing their risk of obesity.


Adamo, K. B., & Brett, K. E. (2014). Parental perceptions and childhood dietary quality. Maternal and child health journal18(4), 978-995.

Larsen, J. K., Hermans, R. C., Sleddens, E. F., Engels, R. C., Fisher, J. O., & Kremers, S. P. (2015). How parental dietary behavior and food parenting practices affect children’s dietary behavior. Interacting sources of influence?. Appetite89, 246-257.

Sahoo, K., Sahoo, B., Choudhury, A. K., Sofi, N. Y., Kumar, R., & Bhadoria, A. S. (2015). Childhood obesity: causes and consequences. Journal of family medicine and primary care4(2), 187. Obesity In Toddlers And Parent Control Paper