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Restricting Your Child’s Food Intake May Increase Appetite and Poor Eating

The New York Times’ Well blog reports that “reactive eating,” or being highly motivated by food may be a result of over-restriction by parents, two new studies show. The first study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that young girls whose mothers used highly restricted practices with regards to food, including hiding junk food or constantly dieting, were more likely to eat when they weren’t hungry and have higher BMI at age 7. In the second study, published in Appetite, researchers found that when a certain type of cookie was “restricted” during snack time, children whose parents had restrictive practices in the home were more likely to be highly reactive to the forbidden cookie. Experts say, “the message is that restriction is counterproductive” and to “stock the house with healthful foods, and then allow children access and a reasonable amount of control over what they eat.”

Read it in The New York Times.

Read the first study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Read the second study in Appetite.