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Impulsiveness tied to faster eating in children, can cause obesity

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COVID, Immunity and Nutrition News

With the fast-moving lifestyle, obesity is becoming a concern for all. Even children are being affected by obesity. Lockdown and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 Pandemic have increased obesity among children. School closures, fewer outdoor activities, less socializing, eating processed and stored food all resulted in more obesity among children. Obesity among children may cause complex health issues. As they become more prone to High blood pressure, high cholesterol, which is risk factors for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea, joint problems and musculoskeletal discomfort, fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-oesophagal reflux.1

Obesity may also be a result of anxiety and depression, low self-esteem and lower self-reported quality of life and social problems such as bullying and stigma. Hence, it is a great concern that children be healthy and active.2

A study new study by the University at Buffalo and Children′s Hospital of Philadelphia states that children who eat slower are less likely to be extroverted and impulsive; they experienced frustration and discomfort and have difficulties self-soothing. Further, studies state that children who were more responsive to food and ate food faster were at higher risk of developing obesity. 2

The study surveyed 28 participants from a family intervention program to reduce eating speed among 4- to 8-year-old children who were having obesity or with or at risk for obesity. It examined eating behaviours which included responsiveness to feeling full (internal food cues); responsiveness to seeing, smelling and tasting food (external food cues); and eating speed. The temperament study consisted of extroversion and impulsivity; self-control; and the inability to self motivate and nullify negative emotions such as anger, fear and sadness. The study concluded that children who actively responded to feeling full showed more self-control than those who did not respond well, thus showing that the temperament and eating habits among children were related.2


  1. CDC. Childhood Obesity Causes & Consequences: Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; 2021 [updated March 2021; cited 2021 7-Sep-21]. Available from:
  2. Robinson M. Impulsiveness tied to faster eating in children, can lead to obesity University at Buffalo and Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia.: ScienceDaily; 2021 [updated July-21; cited 2021 7-Sep-21]. Available from:
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