Children who avoided immediate
gratification for later rewards may boast of lower body mass indexes (BMI) as
adults, says a new study.
Between the period of 2002 and
2004, scientists belonging to the University of Wisconsin, the University of
Washington, Columbia University, and the University of California, Berkeley,
studied 164 adults who were part of an impulse-control experiment in the 1960's
and 1970's and collected their self-reported heights and weights. The original
study was carried out on a sample of wealthy American White population.
The participants, who were then
pre-schoolers, could either chose a single treat or take two treats at an
unspecified time. Children who chose to wait for two treats, which was either a
marshmallow or a cookie, could change their mind before the end of the 15- to
20-minute experiment, and still be offered a single treat.
In the 2002-2004 analysis, scientists
discovered that one minute of delayed gratification by the children was linked
to a 0.2-point decrease in adult BMI. The researchers opine that children who exhibited greater self-control
are better able to resist the temptation of indulging unhealthy foods all
through their lives.
Although the study was able to
detect a correlation between delayed gratification and healthier body weight,
the study does not definitely prove that controlling one's impulses benefitted
A healthy way of life does not
involve magic; on the other hand it involves a lot of discipline. Leading a
child on the path of health is challenging and it involves the unwavering
efforts of parents and teachers who may sometimes, have to lead by example. And
when the child grows up, he will be eternally thankful to his elders for the
gift of a healthier life..!
recent study has been published in the Aug 16th
edition of the "Journal of Pediatrics".