Children are influenced by their environment, particularly their family and home environment. For example, children’s health behaviors (eating, physical activity and sleeping patterns) are influenced by their family and home environment. As a result, the family home environment may impact children’s weight. In this post I will discuss more specifically how the organization of the home environment impacts children’s weight.
Organized home environment
A structured, organized home environment may promote a healthy development among children. As a result, children may be more likely to develop habits that promote a healthy weight. For example, organized structured households include:
- Family routines, for example about family meals and bedtimes
- Limit setting, for example rules about screen time
On the other hand, a less structured disorganized home environment (including household chaos and crowding) may negatively impact children’s development. Disorganized home environments do not include these routines to support regular and healthy behaviors among children.
Links between home environment and children’s weight
This study explores the links between the organization of the family home environment and children’s weight. The authors summarized the results of previous scientific articles. Children were between 2 and 12 years old. The study included measures about the organization of the family home environment (family routines and limit setting) and children’s weight.
Results of the study
The study found that:
- The organization of the family home environment was related to children’s weight. More specifically, greater household organization promotes healthier weight among children.
- Family routines about sleep and meal routines and limitations about screen time may be protective against obesity among youth.
- Develop healthy habits in your home environment regarding family routines and limit setting. For example, focus on sleep duration of your child, family meals and limitations on screen time.
- Family routines and limit setting may have protective influences on children’s weight.
Bates, C. R., Buscemi, J., Nicholson, L. M., Cory, M., Jagpal, A., & Bohnert, A. M. (2018). Links between the organization of the family home environment and child obesity: a systematic review. Obesity Reviews, 19(5), 716-727.