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Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Apr;53(4):859-64.

Parental influence on food selection in young children and its relationships to childhood obesity.

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Department of Psychology, Memphis State University, TN 38152.

Erratum in

  • Am J Clin Nutr 1991 Dec;54(6):iv.


This investigation evaluated the impact of parental influences on children's food selections and the impact of childhood obesity on these food choices. Subjects were 53 young children of various weight status. Foods ranging widely in nutritional values were offered to each child for lunch. The children were again offered foods but were told that their mothers would be monitoring their selections. Finally, mothers were allowed to modify their children's last food choices. Results indicated that parental influences have a marked effect on food selection; both the threat of parental monitoring and actual parental monitoring lowered the number of nonnutritious foods chosen and total caloric content of the meal. The obesity status of the mothers and children had no impact on these results. The implication of these results for future intervention efforts are discussed.

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