The Real Reasons Why Parents Struggle With Children’s Portion Sizes
Kristina Curtis, 4 Nov 17

A tasty treat but is it too much? Shutterstock/Daniel M. Nagy

Parents are repeatedly told to watch what they are feeding their children, but they must also keep a keen eye on how much of it they are serving.

As the place where they consume around two thirds of their daily food intake, being obese or overweight begins at home for children. Child portion control has become so much of a problem that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared families’ healthy food portions critical to childhood weight management.

But very little is known about what exactly influences parents’ portion size choices for their children. Previous research into child weight management has identified gaps in parents’ knowledge, denial of their children’s weight status, and cultural practices as barriers towards healthy eating. Few studies have been done into parents’ portion behaviours, however.

To find out the situation in the UK, we conducted a series of group discussions with 22 parents from across the country – mainly mothers with overweight children above the age of five – along with four family weight management caseworkers. Unlike previous qualitative research, we wanted to get answers directly from adults.

Knowledge and emotion

So far, efforts to explain the consumption of large portion sizes have focused mainly on how the shape and size of dinnerware provides visual prompts that influence consumption beyond our consciousness, as well as the availability of low cost, large quantities of high energy dense foods.

But our findings suggest that both parents’ emotional and habitual responses, and beliefs are also potentially important influences on their portion control behaviours.

Sign in to view full article

‘Sip’ Info From Your Smartwatch, ‘Whoosh’ It To Your Phone
With their small screens and our bulky fingers, smartwatches aren’t the easiest devices to control. Researchers have invented new ways ...
Jason Maderer
Fri, 3 Feb 17
We Change Our Voice When We Talk to High-Status People, Shows New Study
Imagine going for a job interview and the employer sitting across from you is truly intimidating. He’s big, bold, loud ...
Viktoria Mileva, Juan David Leongómez
Wed, 5 Jul 17
The Phone Calls That Helped Expose Organ Harvesting in China
Drhiyuan Wang has spent more than 10 years investigating how other doctors in China have killed massive numbers of people ...
James Burke
Wed, 8 Feb 17
Does Playing Chess Make You Smarter? A Look at The Evidence
The stereotype of the chess player is someone who is smart, logical and good at maths. This is why so ...
Giovanni Sala, Fernand Gobet
Wed, 17 May 17
Petition Urges Xi Jinping to End Forced Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners
NEW YORK—A petition that has garnered nearly 6,000 signatures in just 2 days calls for President Donald Trump to help ...
Bowen Xiao
Mon, 10 Apr 17
An Epoch Times Survey
Advertise with Us
At Epoch Times, We Care :o)
Sports Elements
Read about Forced Organ Harvesting