Researchers at the University of Minnesota have determined why family counseling helps reduce obesity in children. The study built upon earlier research that identified family counseling was effective, but not why it was. The new study looked at 81 families with children who lived in the Twin Cities. The results identified two factors were responsible for reducing child obesity: fewer sugar-sweetened beverages and smaller portions.
The study did indicate that family counseling does need to be focused. In addition to messages about portion control and sugary drinks, counselors also stressed adding fruits and vegetables to meals. Few families did this, however. Researchers believe a program that is more focused will be more successful, especially since this allows for counselors to provide more detailed information and help families learn how to better implement the strategies suggested.
These findings were published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on June 19, 2017.