A new study at OSU is suggesting that familial structure like regular bed and meal times and limited time on electronic devices may be linked to better emotional health in preschoolers and this may lower chances of obesity.
Researchers evaluated three household routines when children were 3 years old: regular bedtime, regular mealtime and whether or not parents limited television and video watching to an hour or less daily. Then they compared those to parents’ reports of two aspects of children’s self-regulation at that same age. Lastly, they investigated how the routines and self-regulation worked together to impact obesity at age 11, defined based on international criteria.
All three household routines were associated with better emotional self-regulation – a measure based on parents’ responses to questions such as how easily the child becomes frustrated or over-excited. Those children with greater emotional dysregulation were more likely to be obese later.