Childhood obesity and the use of food to sooth infants

Have you ever wondered why people use food to comfort our feelings? Well, you probably don’t remember, but when your mom heard you cry, the first thing she did was give you a bottle. Maybe you stopped crying then. A few hours later, you started whaling away again, then mama brought you a bottle, then you stopped. See a pattern forming?

I think there is a lot to that theory- and I am not the only one. Cynthia Stifter, professor of human development and family studies and principal investigator on the project that focuses on childhood obesity and the use of food to sooth infants said, ” “When the infant cries, parents typically have a set of soothing techniques they’ll use to comfort their child — if one doesn’t work, they move to the next — and somewhere on that list is feeding.”

According to the article, there are no previous studies that have examined parent feeding style in infancy and genetics as precursors to childhood obesity. But it makes sense, right? I don’t know what my mom gave me, but when I am said, a brownie  does wonders to cheer me up! Thanks Mom!

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As a Leadership Coach at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL, James Leath teaches athletes from the professional ranks all the way down to elementary school about character and leadership of self, team, coaches and critics. His widely read blog at is a top resource that educates athletes, coaches, and parents in sport psychology and personal development. James is currently finishing a graduate degree in Performance Psychology.

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