Parenting styles, feeding styles, and their influence on child obesogenic behaviors and body weight. A review

Appetite. 2013 Dec;71:232-41. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.08.015. Epub 2013 Aug 31.


With recommendations to include parents as targets for childhood obesity interventions, there is a need to review the relationship of general parenting influences on childhood obesity. Therefore, the aim of this review is to examine the existing literature regarding the influence of parenting style and/or feeding styles on childhood obesogenic behaviors and body weight. Research articles related to parenting style (n=40) and parental feeding style (n=11) were identified and reviewed. An authoritative style appears to be the most protective parenting and feeding style while the indulgent feeding style is consistently associated with negative health outcomes. Overall, results for parenting style studies are inconsistent due to differences in conceptualization and measurement, while the results for feeding styles are much more cohesive. The literature is lacking in the ability to describe the interplay between parenting and feeding styles and child obesity risk. Recommendations for future research and interventions are discussed in regards to feeding style and influences on childhood obesity.

Keywords: Childhood obesity; Eating behaviors; Feeding styles; Parenting styles; Physical activity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Motor Activity
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting*
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Risk Factors