Comment: Dr Graham Schafer comments on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's call for more to be done to tackle child obesity.
Release Date 23 October 2013
Dr Graham Schafer, from the University of Reading's Department of Psychology, said:
"This is a comprehensive report which deserves to be taken very seriously as lifespan obesity is a growing problem throughout the world. Families are at the core of the solution but the pressures of the modern lifestyle are not helping parents support their young children to eat well. However using a carrot, as well as a stick, can be very effective and will make parents feel less like a ‘police officer in the kitchen'.
"Research at the University of Reading has shown that toddlers who regularly look at pictures of vegetables and fruit not part of their normal diet are more enthusiastic about trying them. Other ways to encourage children include persistence (children often like food more once they have seen it a few times) and involving children in food preparation, even if it just means cutting it into funny shapes and putting it on the plate."