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Pessimist mums give kids unhealthy food PDF Print E-mail
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Written by IANS   

WASHINGTON: Women with negative thoughts and feelings are more likely to give their kids unhealthy food, according to a Norwegian study. This is the first ever research project that analyses children's diets combined with both psychological and socio-demographic variables in the mother.

As part of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, a total of 27,763 mothers were asked how often and how much their 18-month-old child ate of 36 types of food and drink.

By this age, children learn to prefer sweet and fatty food over healthy food.

"We found that mothers who were emotionally unstable, anxious, angry, sad, had poor self-confidence or a negative view of the world were far more likely to give their child sweet and fatty foods," explained psychologist Eivind Ystrøm at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).

At the same time, there was no link between maternal personality and how healthy a diet the child got in the form of fruit and vegetables, Ystrøm explained.

These maternal personality traits fall under a collective name of negative emotions. These people often have a lower stress threshold, giving up quicker when faced with obstacles - such as in a disagreement - and often experience lack of control of the child.

"I think that mothers compensate for this either by trying to force healthy food into their child or hold the sweet-bag strings extra tightly. Paradoxically, they try to balance poor control by actually using more control," he added, according to an NIPH release.

In an earlier study, Ystrøm and his colleagues also highlighted how mothers with a high level of negative traits cease breastfeeding before the recommended six month limit.


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