Children having poor maternal-child relationship are more prone to gain extra weight when they become adolescent. Researchers from the Ohio State University College of Public Health in Columbus, examined statistics of nearly one thousand children who participated in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development.
Researchers evaluated child attachment security and ability of mother to recognize her child’s emotional state by looking at child interaction with mother at fifteen, twenty-four and thirty-six moths of age. Across three ages researchers generated a maternal-child relationship quality score that showed whether child was insecurely attached or experienced low mom-child warmth.
About a quarter of children had poor maternal-child relationship, where as twenty-two percent of children scored perfect in each session. By reaching the age of fifteen twenty-six percent of the children those having relationship problem were obese. By contrast, only thirteen percent of the children who had a good relationship with their mother became obese
But the gap became narrowed when other aspects were considered, such as maternal education and household income. According to lead research Sarah E. Anderson, it is likely that a stressful childhood could make a lasting impression on child’s brain. There is an overlap in the brain between the areas that govern stress and energy balance. This stress response could be related to obesity through appetite regulation.
The current data of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that seventeen percent of all children and adolescents in the US are obese. The study findings were published in the journal Pediatrics. Interventions should target to improve the quality of maternal–child interactions and examining potential mechanisms involving stress response and emotion regulation.