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Peers Influence Kids Eating Habits More Than Parents

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 12-06-2009

A new study published online in Social Science and Medicine says that parents’ eating habits actually have little to do with what kids eat.  The national study, which looked at a representative sample of 2291 parents and 2692 children found little similarity between kids’ and parents’ diets, with just a slight edge moms versus dads.  However, the study did show that, especially as kids get older, peers have a far larger effect, with more similarities within peer groups.  Kids do tend to eat what other kids are eating.

The study did not try to analyze why parents’ and kids’ diets don’t resemble each other more, but suggests that parents aren’t doing as good a job as they should to not only show good eating examples, but get kids to actually follow them.

Parenting advice:  Watch what you eat, model good eating habits and make sure kids are eating a diet similar to the (good) one you are following.  Failing that, make sure your children eat often with other kids who are healthy eaters.

8 comments
paula
paula

I do agree that kids are influenced by peers but if the kids are taught in their childhood how to accept healthy foods then they will have less influence from their peers."Monkey see Monkey do".Children copy parent behavior and not follow instructions and more than peers its the family dynamics that influence the eating pattern in child.We can develop a good eating pattern in our kids through simple things and to learn more you you can visit habit changer's "Feeding you kids program"

Rob
Rob

If it was published online, could you provide a link? If it's subscription only, could you mention this is why no link is provided? (Why is City REQUIRED to leave a comment here?)

nina
nina

i agree with this because i have my own kids and they do tend to try and copy what i eat.

nina
nina

where is anchorage rob?

paula
paula

I do agree that kids are influenced by peers but if the kids are taught in their childhood how to accept healthy foods then they will have less influence from their peers."Monkey see Monkey do".Children copy parent behavior and not follow instructions and more than peers its the family dynamics that influence the eating pattern in child.We can develop a good eating pattern in our kids through simple things and to learn more you you can visit habit changer's "Feeding you kids program"

Rob
Rob

If it was published online, could you provide a link? If it's subscription only, could you mention this is why no link is provided? (Why is City REQUIRED to leave a comment here?)

nina
nina

i agree with this because i have my own kids and they do tend to try and copy what i eat.

nina
nina

where is anchorage rob?