Julian Omidi discusses a Norwegian study that looked to answer why some children put on more weight than others.
It seems when it comes to weight gain, some people struggle more than others. This is true in both children and adults. A study performed in Norway looked to find the factors that caused some children to gain weight faster than others.
Conducted by researchers at NTNU’s Department of Psychology, they found that the way children relate to food was crucial on the positive or negative impact on their health. Children who are triggered by the sight and smell of food were more likely to have a higher Body Mass Index or BMI. It was less about hunger and more about the stimuli. The reasoning behind some people’s reaction to food stimuli is still unclear.
The study is part of a larger body of work where the researchers look at children’s development and their psychology over several years. They looked at the data of children at ages 2, 4, 6 and 8 years. The study found a sort of chicken and egg scenario: does BMI increase appetite or does appetite increase BMI?
The researchers stated that it went both ways. Those with larger appetites were more likely to have higher BMI’s but when a person’s BMI increased, they were more likely to be stimulated more by food thus eating more. The older a child gets, around 6 to 8, the less likely they were to stop eating after they should have been satiated.
Silje Steinsbekk, one of the researchers, points out that many children find it difficult to know when they are full. Though it is important for children to judge how much food they should eat, Steinsbekk recommends parents learn to regulate their children’s food intake. That way, they’ll know the appropriate time to stop eating.
This is just another key piece to solving the puzzle of child obesity. There are many factors that come into play with obesity in children. If your child has a weight problem, the more informed you can become on child obesity, the better you can help them treat their obesity. Consult your physician to learn how to manage your child’s weight in order for them to live a healthy life style.
Be good to each other,
Julian Omidi is the co-founder of The Children’s Obesity Fund, a nonprofit that works to eliminate child obesity.