Child obesity research has generally not examined multiple layers of parent-child relationships during weight-related activities such as feeding, eating and play. A literature review was conducted to locate empirical studies that measured parent-child interactions and child eating and child weight variables; five papers met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The findings of the review revealed that parent-child relationships are an important element in explaining the unhealthy trend of childhood obesity. We argue that prevention/intervention strategies must extend on the current models of parenting by targeting the family from a bi-directional perspective, and focusing, specifically, on the mutually responsive orientation that exists in the parent-child relationship.
- childhood obesity
- mutually responsive orientation
- parent-child interactions
- public health