Posted 10.30.2018 | by AMRA
Children from low-income, high-stress families are at increased risk for obesity. Further, highly stressed parents tend towards parenting styles that are less warm, less involved, and more punitive. An intervention that improves parental nonjudgmental attention to moment-to-moment parent-child interactions might also prove helpful in preventing childhood obesity.
Jastreboff et al. [Journal of Pediatrics] explored whether a novel mindful parenting program could improve parenting style and reduce the risk for obesity in the parents’ preschool-aged children.
The researchers randomly assigned 42 highly stressed low-income parents of preschool aged children (average age = 31 years; 98% female; 62% multiracial; average BMI=36) to either an 8-week Parenting Mindfully for Health (PMH) program or an educational control group. High parental stress was defined by high scores on a perceived stress scale.
The PMH and control participants both attended 8 weekly 2-hour group sessions that included 20 minutes of nutrition and physical activity education and counseling. The remainder of the time in the PMH group was modeled after MBSR, which included a focus on mindful parenting, eating, and physical activity. The remainder of the control group’s time was devoted to viewing and discussing nature videos.
Parents were assessed pre- and post-intervention for mindfulness (using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale), perceived stress, nutritional intake, pedometer-measured physical activity, and BMI. Their preschool children wore an activity sensor to measure levels of physical activity and also had their BMI calculated from their height and weight.
Parent-child dyads were videotaped during a “Toy Wait Test” in which the children had to wait five minutes until their parents completed some paperwork before they could play with a toy. Toy Wait Test videotapes were rated for the quality […]