Parents As the Main Agent of Change in Childhood Obesity

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
November/December 2005 Volume 16, Number 6
©2005 Gürze Books

Working with parents alone may provide better results for treating obese children than including all family members, according to an Israeli study. Moria Golan, PhD, reported at the recent Eating Disorders Research Society meeting in Toronto that working directly with parents of obese children, compared with working only with an obese child or including parents and child together significantly improved the child’s weight loss and parents’ weight status as well. One hundred and fifty obese children from 100 families throughout Israel participated in the six-month project. Dr. Golan reported that omitting the obese child from the direct intervention and targeting the parents only with a health-promotion approach, emphasizing parenting style and practices, is a cost-effective and beneficial strategy for managing childhood obesity. She also reported that permissive parents had less success in helping their child lose weight and in losing weight themselves.

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