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Childhood Binge Eating & Families

28 June 2016 Written by 

The Important Role Of The Family In Childhood Obesity.

 

From Science Daily: In order to put childhood binge eating into context, a new systematic review identifies two potential risk factors for binge eating in children under the age of 12. With family being the most proximal and influential setting affecting behaviors and

attitudes in children, the study reports that parental non-involvement or emotional unresponsiveness and weight-related teasing in the family are behaviors consistently associated with childhood binge eating.

Binge eating is the most prevalent type of eating disorder across races, ethnic groups, ages, and genders. Surprisingly, binge eating has even been reported in children as young as 5 years old.

In order to put childhood binge eating into context, a new systematic review from the University of Illinois identifies two potential risk factors for binge eating in children under the age of 12. With family being the most proximal and influential setting affecting behaviors and attitudes in children, the study reports that parental non-involvement or emotional unresponsiveness and weight-related teasing in the family are behaviors consistently associated with childhood binge eating.

Jaclyn Saltzman, a doctoral researcher in human development and family studies, and a scholar in the Illinois Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program, explains that childhood binge eating can lead to many weight and eating behavior problems as the child grows and in to adulthood. "Intervening early to address binge eating may not only help prevent an eating disorder from emerging but also prevent lifetime habits of unhealthy weight-related behaviors," she says.

Saltzman stresses that binge eating is not the same as feeling you have had too much dessert at dinner. "Binge eating is feeling like you are not in control when you are eating. You are eating past the point of fullness and to the point of discomfort. You are experiencing a lot of emotional distress because of it," she explains.

She adds that binge eating is associated with depression and obesity.

Saltzman and Janet M. Liechty, a professor of medicine and of social work at U of I, reviewed studies on childhood binge eating spanning the last 35 years. They found that very few studies had been done over the last decade on kids and binge eating in the family context.

"We quickly found out that we had to focus specifically on family correlates and risk factors for childhood binge eating, because we were struck by how little research had explored contextual influences, especially in comparison to a much larger body of literature on individual psychological, behavioral, and biological influences. We thought there was a need for a more nuanced understanding of the context in which childhood binge eating develops," Saltzman says.

Read more: Childhood binge eating Families feeding and feelings

Read 218 times Last modified on Friday, 01 July 2016 15:06
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