Campus News

Restricted refreshments

An experiment at Pennsylvania State University studying the effects of restricted foods on children showed that those who are highly motivated by food had the strongest response to the limited snacks, according to an article in The New York Times.

Leann Birch, senior author of the studies and the William P. “Bill” Flatt Childhood Obesity Professor in UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, said other research has shown parents who enforce restrictions on desirable foods tend to have children who are the most reactive to food in the laboratory.

“It’s hard to talk cause and effect,” Birch said in the Times article. “The parents are responding to kids’ reactivity, and the child is reacting to the parenting and to a general genetic predisposition. The only way to break the cycle is to try and get the parents to respond differently.”