Parents are instructed to cook healthful foods, hold regular mealtimes and limit snacking in order to raise healthy, normal-weight children. Certainly parental influence -- and the examples parents set -- matters. But a new study suggests that parents are fighting many other forces in trying to help their children eat healthful diets.
A study published Wednesday reviewed 24 studies on parents' influence on their children's eating habits. The studies covered populations around the world from 1980 to 2009. The authors, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that parental influence appeared to have grown weaker over time. Parent-child correlations regarding caloric intake and fat consumption are weaker in the United States compared with other countries.