By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There is no doubt that parents can have a major influence on children and this has been shown to be the case when establishing eating habits.

Think about it. If you look at the impact of what foods are included in the school lunch or what choices are offered at dinner you can see the impact.

Now a new report suggests it starts earlier than that. Mothers who push their toddlers to eat more at snack time may end up with a heavier child.

According to a new study, when mothers push their kids to eat more at snack time their kids tended to be heavier by the age of 3. There are several suggested reasons for this but the best theory is that parents may end up “overriding” their little one’s ability to listen to the body’s natural “satiety signals” — the brain’s way of telling you to stop eating.

A number of studies have pointed to links between parents’ “controlling” behavior at meal time and their children’s risk of being overweight.

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