Research links food-insecure mothers to childhood obesity

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A new study, published in Pediatrics, suggests that the way a "food-insecure" mother, or one who has to worry about not having enough food for her family, regulates her child's eating patterns could determine whether her child is obese.

Nearly 20 percent of Mecklenburg County's children live in poverty.

Researchers in New York asked 201 mothers from impoverished families about their concerns about their child's weight and if they regulated their infant's food intake. The study showed that they restricted their children's intake even when they were still hungry or pressured them to eat more even when they were already full, according to The Atlantic.

Parents who control what an infant eats may be disrupting their kid's growing ability to regulate his or her own hunger and fullness, leading to overeating and weight gain. [Lead researcher Rachel] Gross says in a statement: "In addition to addressing hunger and malnutrition, it is critical that policy efforts be made to work with food-insecure families to prevent the opposite problem - obesity."


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