Psych Prof Co-Writes New Obesity Study

UALR Professor Robert F. Corwyn of UALR’s Department of Psychology is a co-author of a new study published online in the journal “Obesity” providing further evidence that strict maternal control over eating habits – such as determining how much a child should eat and coaxing them to eat certain foods – during early childhood may not lead to significant future weight gain in boys or girls.

Instead, this behavior may be a response to concerns over a child’s increasing weight.

“Our findings suggest that controlling maternal feeding practices probably do not cause increased weight gain, as some previous studies have proposed. In fact, some degree of control may actually be beneficial in helping certain children maintain their weight,” says lead author Kyung E. Rhee, M.D., M.Sc., a researcher with the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at The Miriam Hospital.

Rhee is also a pediatrician with Hasbro Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor of pediatrics (clinical) at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Study authors said research on the relationship between controlling feeding practices and child weight has been inconsistent and has not conclusively determined whether these practices cause, or are a consequence of, weight gain.

In the study, researchers examined the data of 789 children who participated in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. The group included almost equal numbers of girls and boys, which the authors say is significant, since many prior studies have only focused on girls.

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