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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Healthy Diet: Do Parents Really Have an Influence?

At the Washington Post's health blog, Jennifer LaRue Huget discusses a new study of families' eating habits. The question is, how much influence do parents have over their kids' diets? We blogged back in February that when parents are searching for motivation to get healthier, they should consider the influence they have over their kids' future health habits.

The study's focus was quite limited, comparing what parents and their children ate over two 24-hour periods. The general conclusion was that the parents diet had little to do with what their kids ate.

As the Post's blog mentions, the study concentrated on "simultaneous eating habits," and couldn't say whether there are long-term benefits for modeling a healthy diet. Whether we eat better as adults if our parents followed a healthy diet is beyond the scope of this study.

So what do you think? Are parents' healthy (or unhealthy) habits passed down, or are children influenced by more powerful forces outside the home?

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