Worldwide, childhood overweight is a major concern because of its dramatic increase and prevalence, its persistence into adulthood and its association with a host of negative health outcomes. Parents are the key to their children’s development of obesogenic behaviors (overconsumption of calories, low levels of physical activity, and high levels of sedentary behavior). Although extensive parenting research has been conducted around the world, confl icting fi ndings have been reported and interventions have had disappointing eff ects. In her dissertation, Sleddens (2013) conducted literature reviews and validated questionnaires to evaluate complex parenting-child weight relationships. Conclusions contain recommendations for theory, research and practice.

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Ester Sleddens deed onderzoek naar de rol van ouders op het eet- en bewegingsgedrag van kinderen. Voedingspraktijken binnen een gezin blijken een grote invloed te hebben op het eetgedrag van kinderen. Het effect van voedingsregels op hun eetgedrag hangt verder af van het opvoedingsklimaat thuis en het karakter van het kind (temperament en eetstijl). Deze bevindingen zijn van belang voor de preventie en behandeling van overgewicht bij kinderen.

‘Ik heb anderhalf jaar meegelopen op de overgewichtpoli, coach (Center of Obese Adolescents and Childrens Healthcare), van het Maastricht Universitair Medisch Centrum. Daar herkende ik in de praktijk wat ik in mijn proefschrift heb onderzocht.’

Overgewicht en obesitas bij kinderen is – letterlijk – een uitdijend probleem. Het percentage kinderen met overgewicht en obesitas is vanaf 1980 sterk gestegen (Schokker et al., 2006; Schönbeck et al., 2011; Van den Hurk et al., 2007)16. Schönbeck en collega’s (2011) maakten gebruik van data van de Nederlandse Groeistudies uit 1980, 1997 en 2009. In 2009 had 12.8% van de Nederlandse jongens en 14.8% van de Nederlandse meisjes in de leeftijd van twee tot 21 jaar overgewicht; en 1.8% van de jongens en 2.2% van de meisjes hadden obesitas. Vergeleken met 1980 is dit een twee tot drie keer hogere prevalentie van overgewicht en een vier tot zes keer hogere prevalentie van obesitas.

Overgewicht ontstaat door een verstoring van de energiebalans: de energie-inname uit eten en drinken is groter dan het energieverbruik voor basale


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