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Parent–child interactions and obesity prevention: a systematic review of the literature


Daniela Dell'Aquila

Child obesity research has generally not examined multiple layers of parent–child relationships during weight-related activities such as feeding, eating and play. A literature review was conducted to locate empirical studies that measured parent–child interactions and child eating and child weight variables; five papers met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The findings of the review revealed that parent–child relationships are an important element in explaining the unhealthy trend of childhood obesity. We argue that prevention/intervention strategies must extend on the current models of parenting by targeting the family from a bi-directional perspective, and focusing, specifically, on the mutually responsive orientation that exists in the parent–child relationship.