Do not eat the red food!: prohibition of snacks leads to their relatively higher consumption in children

E.L.G.M. Jansen*, S. Mulkens, A.T.M. Jansen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Overweight is becoming more prevalent in children. Parents' behaviours play an important role in children's eating behaviour and weight status. In addition to modelling and providing meals, parents also have an influence by using control techniques. One frequently used technique is restriction of intake. In this study, it was tested whether a prohibition of food in the first phase would lead to an increase in desire for the target food and overeating in the second phase. Sure enough, desire increased significantly in the prohibition group, whereas it remained constant in the no-prohibition group. Though no significant differences between groups were found in the absolute consumption of the target food, the proportion of consumed target food (target food intake/total food intake) was significantly higher in the prohibition group. Finally, children whose parents imposed either very little or a lot of restriction at home consumed more kilocalories during the whole experiment, as opposed to children who were exposed to a moderate level of restriction at home. These data indicate that restriction can have adverse effects on children's food preference and caloric intake.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-577
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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