Weighing the Benefits of Childhood Self-Control

Certainly, there are many factors influencing adult body weight. Nevertheless, study authors suggested that, "given the severity and intractability of the obesity epidemic, accounting for any of the variance in BMI may have practical implications."

In other words, teaching children self-control can be one of many tools in the arsenal to combat the obesity epidemic -- an idea with which other doctors agree.

"Beyond the well-known factors in the obesity equation -- diet and exercise -- parents and schools should focus on [self-control] as a target for education and prevention of obesity in the youth," said George Blackburn, chair in nutrition medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

In a culture where technology has afforded instant gratification in many things, this may be harder and harder to teach.

"Everything is instant now," said Keith Ayoob, associate professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "These subjects were children when there were no touch-tone phones, let alone hand-held devices, laptops, iPads, etc. Society today doesn't want to have to wait for anything, and to a large extent, we don't have to.

"As such, it can be easy to resent the waiting that is necessary for us to lose even a pound or two, let alone 20, 30 or 50 pounds, and the persistence that staying on a diet and activity regimen requires."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: The fake baby a man was carrying as he and another woman tried to sneak into the mother and baby unit at Mercy Medical Center in Merced, Calif., hospital officials said.
Dignity Health Security/Mercy Medical Center Merced
dpa, Jens Wolf/AP Photo
PHOTO: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston stopped a would be smuggler from bringing nearly 7 ounces of cocaine into the country in tamales, Aug. 22, 2014.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
PHOTO: Giant panda Bao Bao celebrates her first birthday at the Smithsonians National Zoo, Aug. 23, 2014.
David Galen, Smithsonians National Zoo