OSLO, Norway, April 9 (UPI) -- Mothers with many negative thoughts and feelings are more likely to give their children unhealthy food, researchers in Norway said.
Researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in collaboration with the University of Oslo analyzed children's diets, combined with both psychological and sociodemographic variables in mothers.
As part of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, a total of 27,763 mothers were asked how often and how much their 18-month-old children ate of 36 types of food and drink. By this age, children learn to prefer sweet and fatty food over healthy food.
"We found that mothers who were emotionally unstable, anxious, angry, sad, had poor self-confidence or a negative view of the world were far more likely to give their child sweet and fatty foods," Eivind Ystrom of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said in a statement. "At the same time, there was no link between maternal personality and how healthy a diet the child got in the form of fruit and vegetables."
Mothers with negative thought and anxiety often have a lower stress threshold, giving up quicker when faced with obstacles such as a child in disagreement, and often experience lack of control of the child.
Mothers compensate for this either by trying to force healthy food into their child or holding the sweet-bag strings extra tightly.