Emotional Eating in Adolescence & Parents’ Eating Behaviors

  • Publish date: Thursday، 08 September 2022
Emotional Eating in Adolescence & Parents’ Eating Behaviors

Some parents treat food as a reward they give their children when they do well, right? Unfortunately, these behaviors can influence children to become "emotional eaters" who use food to regulate their feelings, according to a group of researchers at the University of Philadelphia.

Parents' Food Handling Behaviors

After investigating different feeding practices used by parents, including restriction, sharing, and food as a reward, researchers reported that emotional eating was more likely among adolescents whose parents used food as a reward, as these adolescents tended to eat to regulate their emotions and cope with negative, positive, or stress-induced feelings.

In contrast, parents who involve their children and allow them to choose their meals are less likely to eat emotionally during adolescence.

Parents' Eating Behavior Passes on to Their Children

In an attempt to discover whether parents' eating behaviors are transmitted to their children, a group of researchers conducted a study of 218 families whose children moved from late childhood to middle adolescence.

Each family was also asked to answer questionnaires about their eating habits, and then each parent and their child answered questions about their eating behavior.

The researchers concluded that parents' eating habits have a significant impact on their children's relationship with food, in addition, parents continue to play an important role in their children's eating behavior in the teenage years, and therefore they should monitor their behavior just as they monitor their children's behavior.

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