Jerusalem Post: Health Scan

March 22, 2009. Retrieved online October 9, 2009 from Judy Siegel-Itzkovich. Jerusalem Post



“Parents may have good intentions by forcing their kids to eat everything on their plate, but this approach may backfire, according to US researchers. Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University in New York and Collin Payne of New Mexico State University asked 63 mothers of preschool-age children the extent to which they tell their children to clean their plates. The researchers then asked the children how much sweet breakfast cereal they would like for their morning snack at day care. Children were able to fill their bowl until they indicated they had enough, and the bowl was weighed.

“We found that the more controlling the parents were about telling their child to clean their plate, the more likely the kids – especially the boys – were to request larger portions of sweetened cereal,” said Wansink in a statement reported by UPI.

“Parents who force their kids to clean their plates at meals may be interfering with the development of self control,” Payne added. “When children have little control over what they eat or don’t eat, they may react by acting out and overeating when away from home.”

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