In news out of the UK, researchers, who monitored 11,000 children as part of a long-term study on obesity found that parents of preschoolers who regulate their child’s mealtimes, bedtimes and limit screen time are less likely to raise obese youngsters.
The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, found a link between preschool routines and the ability for young children to self-regulate, leading to better emotional health and less risk for weight gain.
The Millennium Cohort Study found that age 3, 41 percent of children studied had a regular bedtime, 47 percent had a regular mealtime schedule and 23 percent had a screen time of one hour or less. By age 11, about 6 percent were obese.
Researchers also found that of the three routines, a regular bedtime appeared to be the most important, with the absence of a regular preschool bedtime routine leading to the greatest obesity risk.
While not an complete predictor of a child’s obesity risk, the study gives some insight to the need to start routines at an early age and stick with those routines throughout childhood.
Read more at US News.