Self Control As Children Results in Better BMI as Adults

by Dr. Reeja Tharu on  September 7, 2012 at 12:06 PM Health Watch
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Children who avoided immediate gratification for later rewards may boast of lower body mass indexes (BMI) as adults, says a new study.
Self Control As Children Results in Better BMI as Adults
Self Control As Children Results in Better BMI as Adults

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 health.

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..!

The recent study has been published in the Aug 16th edition of the "Journal of Pediatrics".

Source: Medindia

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