Post 2: Association between child obesity and parenting behaviour

Written by Song-Yi Im

Through secondary researches, out of all the matter of obesity, I was especially into current status of children in Australia that one of three children suffers. While browsing the cause of childhood obesity in Scholarly articles, the majority researches note that parent’s behaviour is the most crucial factor in children’s obesity.

One of found scholarly articles also indicates parenting as a main factor causing childhood obesity but give more weight on maternal responsibility. It is written by Faser et al (2010) and analyses multiple articles how media represents responsibilities of childhood obesity impute to mothers regarding them managers of children’ bodies. The collected quotations illustrates mother’s roles in pregnancy and food provision is too important to lead child’s obesity in case of they made poor decisions. Especially mothers biologically embody children in reproduction and the family works done by mother is vital for social and economic outcomes, thus it tends to individualise all the blame to mother (Faser, Maher & Wright 2010). The authors indicates how media ignore father’s responsibility or social support issue for child’s nutrition and the perception is needed to renewed as the contribution of mothers in society has been changed.

The other found article by Hardy et al also counts parenting attitude is crucial influence for child obesity. However it more discusses result of the study that determines association between children’s BMI status and mother’s and father’s parenting style, which dimensionally categorised from authoritative to disengaged. Through found results, Wake et al. claim paternal parenting behaviour is substantial factor as an considerable extent on children’s overweight, while other researches emphasises importance of maternal responsibility on child’s obesity. Father’s but not mother’s parenting is better at maintenance of weight loss for paediatric obesity and the extent of a father in family environment is important determinant on obesity especially  in the supportive family to lose child’s weight (Stein et al 2005, cited in Hardy et al. 2007). Also it is founded that father’s physical and diet activities highly influences on teenager and adolescents’ psychological and physical healths. With emphasising importance of role of paternal behaviour, authors provides other researches that claims determinant of children obesity is an maternal responsibility and genetic factor. However, authors indicates weaknesses of researches that come from insufficient of range of test subjects, dimensional analysis, different territorial environment, and not up-to-date resources. In the defence of assertion of genetic influence, the author insists that nongenetic factor has become more fatal since the time we live are surrounded obesogenic environment (Hardy et al.  2007). at the end of paragraph, the article notes that parenting behaviour on early ages helps to shape their own nutrition and physical activity when they become mature.

Summary of findings

  • Social media has been forced and emphasised maternal responsibility on child diet management in family with overlooking father’s role.
  • However, study found paternal involvement in physical and diet activity is great support in maintenance of weight and psychological health.
  • Genetic factor is one of determinant for child obesity but non-genetic factor has become more fatal influence followed by time we living in surrounded obesogenic environment.
  • Parenting style associates children’s BMI status


Reference list

Faser, S. & Maher, J. & Wright, J. 2010, Framing the mother: childhood obesity, maternal responsibility and care, Journal of Gender Studies, vol. 10, no.3, pp. 233-247, viewed 8 August 2016, <>.

Hardy, P.Wake, M. & Nicholson, J.M. & Smith, K. & Wake, M. 2007, Preschooler Obesity and Parenting Styles of Mothers and Fathers: Australian National Population Study, Pediatrics, vol. 120, no.6, pp. e1520-e1527, viewed 8 August 2016, <>.