A University of Minnesota research time has built on a previous study that showed obesity in children could be reduced via counseling. This study has determined why this method works. After studying how counseling affected 81 families in the Twin Cities area, several key factors have been identified. Smaller portions and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages have been credited as reducing childhood obesity, the study shows.
However, while counseling did affect these two areas, it proved ineffective in convincing families to include more fruits and vegetables in their meals. This may indicate that counseling methods that present too many messages may be ineffective. Focusing on one or a few messages at once, including providing an explanation of each and how to implement them, helps families change their eating habits.
These findings were published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on June 19, 2017.