Childhood Obesity May Be Linked To Parenting Styles By Laura Clark

Satisfactory Essays
In the article “Childhood Obesity May Be Linked to Parenting Styles,” Laura Clark discusses a study of Canadian children and the finding that stricter parents have an effect on the obesity of the children. The study included 37,000 Canadian children and studied mainly two parenting styles: authoritarian and authoritative. Authoritative parents were considered to be parents who were more lenient and understanding when the children misbehaved and would set distinct rules but discuss the behavior instead of punishment. Authoritarian parents are stricter when the children break rules. When the authoritarian parents tell the kids they can’t eat certain food, the idea is the child wants the food even more. According to the study, parents with authoritarian parenting styles are “30% more likely to deal with obesity by ages two to five” (Clark). The study also found that children six to 11 were 37% more likely to be obese. Clark claims these new findings could improve childhood obesity in the future.
The article cites very little of the actual facts of the study making the claims harder to accept and more susceptible to critique. The study itself seems to have overlooked some added external effects and made some assumptions critical to the issue. One factor discussed in class is the size of the study and the people comprising the study. The study size is a decent study size of 37,000. However, the study does not specify some serious factors, such as family size, the structure of the family, the age of the participants and how long the study followed children.
Discussions in class as well as the academic article, “In the Name of the Children: the Gendered politics of Childhood Obesity,” both have views on childhood obesity and the a...

... middle of paper ...

... companies produce which are usually full of fat and sugar. As well as how the food industry influences obesity in America, so does society. More families today avoid eating at the dining room table and choose to gather around the television. Video games and computers have encouraged children to stay inside and a lack of exercise.
With all of these factors and reasons for childhood obesity, parenting styles significantly changing obesity is unlikely. In “Childhood Obesity May be Linked to Parenting Styles,” the assumption that obesity would be decreased if parents were less strict about children’s eating habits and less restricting is not effectively proven. If the study had looked at parenting styles along with socioeconomic status and the specific roles of parents, this could be relevant to the obesity rates in the Unites States if performed in the United States.