Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Style over substance: what can parenting styles tell us about ownership styles and obesity in companion animals?

  • Alexander J. German (a1)
Abstract

Obesity is a major medical concern in human subjects, and most concerning is the rapid recent increase in childhood obesity. Children are more likely to be obese if their parents are obese, an effect that is mediated both by genetics and environment, most notably parental influence. Four major parenting styles have been recognised: authoritative; authoritarian; indulgent; uninvolved. Too much parental control, as with the authoritarian style, is associated with a higher weight status in children. Conversely, indulgent feeding styles can also have negative consequences and, where control is too lax, a poor relationship with food develops, which may also lead to weight gain. Obesity is also a growing concern in companion animals, and it has parallels with obesity in children. For instance, overweight people are more likely to own overweight dogs. Furthermore, the care that people provide for their pets mirrors that which parents provide for children, and pets are commonly viewed as child substitutes. These similarities raise obvious questions about whether different styles of pet ownership exist, and what part they may play in attitudes to feeding as well as predisposition to obesity in pets. Future work could focus on determining to what extent styles of pet ownership mirror parenting styles, whether there are links to obesity in dogs and cats. Knowledge regarding the owner-pet bond might provide comparative insights into the links between parenting styles and childhood obesity.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Style over substance: what can parenting styles tell us about ownership styles and obesity in companion animals?
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Style over substance: what can parenting styles tell us about ownership styles and obesity in companion animals?
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Style over substance: what can parenting styles tell us about ownership styles and obesity in companion animals?
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: A. J. German, fax +44 151 795 6101, email ajgerman@liv.ac.uk
References
Hide All
1 Wang Y & Lobstein L (2006) Worldwide trends in childhood overweight and obesity. Int J Pediatr Obes 1, 1125.
2 Danielzik S, Czerwinski-Mast M, Langnase K, et al. (2004) Parental overweight, socioeconomic status and high birth weight are the major determinants of overweight and obesity in 5–7 y-old children: baseline data of the Kiel Obesity Prevention Study (KOPS). Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 28, 14941502.
3 Reilly JJ, Armstrong J, Dorosty AR, et al. (2005) Early life risk factors for obesity in childhood: cohort study. BMJ 330, 13571359.
4 Frayling TM, Timpson NJ, Weedon MN, et al. (2007) A common variant in the FTO gene is associated with body mass index and predisposes to childhood and adult obesity. Science 316, 889894.
5 Kuchler F & Variyam J (2002) Misperceptions in self-assessed weight status vary along demographic lines. Food Rev 25, 2126.
6 Johnson F, Cooke L, Croker H, et al. (2008) Changing perceptions of weight in Great Britain: comparison of two population surveys. BMJ 337, 270272.
7 Doolen J, Alpert PT & Miller SK (2009) Parental disconnect between perceived and actual weight status of children: a metasynthesis of the current research. J Am Acad Nurse Pract 21, 160166.
8 Birch LL & Davison KK (2001) Family environmental factors influencing the developing behavioral controls of food intake and childhood overweight. Pediatr Clin North Am 48, 893907.
9 Campbell KJ, Crawford DA & Ball K (2006) Family food environment and dietary behaviors likely to promote fatness in 5–6 year-old children. Int J Obes (Lond) 30, 12721280.
10 Hughes SO, Power TG, Orlet Fisher J, et al. (2005) Revisiting a neglected construct: parenting styles in a child-feeding context. Appetite 44, 8392.
11 Maccoby E & Martin J (1983) Socialization in the context of the family: parent–child interaction. In Handbook of Child Psychology, pp. 1101 [Mussen PH, editor]. New York: Wiley.
12 Iannotti RJ, O'Brien RW & Spillman DM (1994) Parental and peer influences on food consumption of preschool African-American children. Percept Mot Skills 79, 747752.
13 Cousins JH, Power TG & Olvera-Ezzell N (1993) Mexican-American mothers’ socialization strategies: effects of education, acculturation, and health locus of control. J Exp Child Psychol 55, 258276.
14 Heptinstall E, Puckering C, Skuse D, et al. (1987) Nutrition and mealtime behaviour in families of growth-retarded children. Hum Nutr Appl Nutr 41, 390402.
15 Stanek K, Abbott D & Cramer S (1990) Diet quality and the eating environment of preschool children. J Am Diet Assoc 90, 15821584.
16 Darling N & Steinberg I (1993) Parenting style as context: an integrative model. Psych Bull 113, 487496.
17 Mandara J (2003) The typological approach in child and family psychology: a review of theory, methods, and research. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 6, 129146.
18 Faith MS, Scanlon KS, Birch LL, et al. (2004) Parent–child feeding strategies and their relationships to child eating and weight status. Obes Res 12, 17111722.
19 Ventura AK & Birch LL (2008) Does parenting effect children's eating and weight status? Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 5, 112.
20 Webber L, Cooke L, Hill C, et al. (2010) Child adiposity and maternal feeding practices: a longitudinal analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 92, 14231428.
21 Webber L, Cooke L, Hill C, et al. (2010) Associations between children's appetitive traits and maternal feeding practices. J Am Diet Assoc 110, 17181722.
22 Francis LA, Hofer SM & Birch LL (2001) Predictors of maternal child-feeding style: maternal and child characteristics. Appetite 37, 231243.
23 Birch LL, Fisher JO & Davison KK (2003) Learning to overeat: maternal use of restrictive feeding practices promotes girls’ eating in the absence of hunger. Am J Clin Nutr 78, 215220.
24 Faith MS, Berkowitz RI, Stallings VA, et al. (2004) Parental feeding attitudes and styles and child body mass index: prospective analysis of a gene–environment interaction. Pediatrics 114, e429e436.
25 Rodgers RF, Paxton SJ, Massey R, et al. (2013) Maternal feeding practices predict weight gain and obesogenic eating behaviors in young children: a prospective study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 10, 24.
26 Lund EM, Armstrong PJ, Kirk CA, et al. (2006) Prevalence and risk factors for obesity in adult dogs from private US veterinary practices. Int J Appl Res Vet Med 4, 177186.
27 Colliard L, Ancel J, Benet JJ, et al. (2006) Risk factors for obesity in dogs in France. J Nutr 136, 1951S1954S.
28 Courcier EA, Thomson RM, Mellor DJ, et al. (2010) An epidemiological study of environmental factors associated with canine obesity. J Small Anim Pract 51, 362367.
29 Lund EM, Armstrong PJ, Kirk CA, et al. (2005) Prevalence and risk factors for obesity in adult cats from private US veterinary practices. Int J Appl Res Vet Med 3, 8896.
30 Colliard L, Paragon BM, Lemuet B, et al. (2009) Prevalence and risk factors of obesity in an urban population of healthy cats. J Feline Med Surg 11, 135140.
31 Courcier EA, Mellor DJ, Pendlebury E, et al. (2012) An investigation into the epidemiology of feline obesity in Great Britain: results of a cross-sectional study of 47 companion animal practises. Vet Rec 171, 560564.
32 Banfield Pet Hospital™ (2012) State of pet health 2012 report. http://www.stateofpethealth.com/Content/pdf/State_of_Pet_Health_2012.pdf (accessed October 2013).
33 German AJ (2006) The growing problem of obesity in dogs and cats. J Nutr 136, 1940S1946S.
34 Tvarijonaviciute A, Ceron JJ, Holden SL, et al. (2013) Obesity-related metabolic dysfunction in dogs: a comparison with human metabolic syndrome. BMC Vet Res 8, 147.
35 Tvarijonaviciute A, Ceron JJ, Holden SL, et al. (2013) Effect of weight loss in obese dogs on indicators of renal function or disease. J Vet Intern Med 27, 3138.
36 German AJ, Holden SL, Wiseman-Orr ML, et al. (2012) Quality of life is reduced in obese dogs but improves after successful weight loss. Vet J 192, 428434.
37 Kealy RD, Lawler DF, Ballam JM, et al. (2002) Effects of diet restriction on life span and age-related changes in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 220, 13151320.
38 Panciera DL (1994) Hypothyroidism in dogs: 66 cases (1987–1992). J Am Vet Med Assoc 204, 761767.
39 Hart BL & Barrett RE (1973) Effects of castration on fighting, roaming and urine spraying in adult male cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 163, 290292.
40 Nguyen PG, Dumon HJ, Siliart BS, et al. (2004) Effects of dietary fat and energy on body weight and composition after gonadectomy in cats. Am J Vet Res 65, 17081713.
41 Robertson ID (1999) The influence of diet and other factors on owner-perceived obesity in privately owned cats from metropolitan Perth, Western Australia. Prev Vet Med 40, 7585.
42 Robertson ID (2003) The association of exercise, diet and other factors with owner-perceived obesity in privately owned dogs from metropolitan Perth, WA. Prev Vet Med 58, 7583.
43 Allan FJ, Pfeiffer DU, Jones BR, et al. (2000) A cross-sectional study of risk factors for obesity in cats in New Zealand. Prev Vet Med 46, 183196.
44 Kienzle E, Bergler R & Mandernach A (1998) Comparison of the feeding behavior and the human–animal relationship in owners of normal and obese dogs. J Nutr 128, 2779S2782S.
45 Kienzle E & Bergler R (2006) Human–animal relationship of owners of normal and overweight cats. J Nutr 136, 1947S1950S.
46 Russell K, Sabin R, Holt S, et al. (2000) Influence of feeding regimen on body condition in the cat. J Small Anim Pract 41, 1217.
47 Backus RC, Cave NJ & Keisler DH (2007) Gonadectomy and high dietary fat but not high dietary carbohydrate induce gains in body weight and fat of domestic cats. Br J Nutr 98, 641665.
48 Heath S (2005) Behaviour problems and welfare. In The Welfare of Cats, pp. 91118 [Rochlitz I, editor]. London: Springer.
49 German AJ, Holden SL, Bissot T, et al. (2007) Dietary energy restriction and successful weight loss in obese client-owned dogs. J Vet Intern Med 21, 11741180.
50 German AJ, Holden SL, Bissot T, et al. (2008) Changes in body composition during weight loss in obese client-owned cats: loss of lean tissue mass correlates with overall percentage of weight lost. J Feline Med Surg 10, 452459.
51 Marshall WG, Hazewinkel HAW, Mullen D, et al. (2010) The effect of weight loss on lameness in obese dogs with osteoarthritis. Vet Res Commun 34, 241253.
52 German AJ, Hervera M, Hunter L, et al. (2009) Improvement in insulin resistance and reduction in plasma inflammatory adipokines after weight loss in obese dogs. Domest Anim Endocrinol 37, 214226.
53 Tvarijonaviciute A, Ceron JJ, Holden SL, et al. (2012) Effects of weight loss in obese cats on biochemical analytes relating to inflammation and glucose homeostasis. Domest Anim Endocrinol 42, 129141.
54 Gentry SJ (1993) Results of the clinical use of a standardized weight-loss program in dogs and cats. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 29, 369375.
55 Yaissle JE, Holloway C & Buffington CAT (2004) Evaluation of owner education as a component of obesity treatment programs for dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 224, 19321935.
56 German AJ, Holden SL, Morris PJ, et al. (2012) Long-term follow-up after weight management in obese dogs: the role of diet in preventing weight regain. Vet J 192, 6570.
57 Mann T, Tomiyama J, Westling E, et al. (2007) Medicare's search for effective obesity treatments: diets are not the answer. Am Psychol 62, 220233.
58 Wing RR & Hill JO (2001) Successful weight loss maintenance. Annu Rev Nutr 21, 323341.
59 McGuire MT, Wing RR, Klem ML, et al. (1999) What predicts weight regain in a group of successful weight losers? J Consult Clin Psychol 67, 177185.
60 Archer J (1997) Why do people love their pets? Evol hum behav 18, 237259.
61 Charles N & Davies CA (2008) My family and other animals: pets as kin. Sociol Res Onlin 13, 4. DOI: 10.5153/sro.1798.
62 Holmes KL, Morris PJ, Abdulla Z, et al. (2007) Risk factors associated with excess body weight in dogs in the UK. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr 91, 166167.
63 Nijland ML, Stam F & Seidell JC (2010) Overweight in dogs, but not in cats, is related to overweight in their owners. Public Health Nutr 13, 102106.
64 Courcier EA, Mellor DJ & Thomson RM (2011) A cross sectional study of the prevalence and risk factors for owner misperception of canine body shape in first opinion practice in Glasgow. Prev Vet Med 102, 6674.
65 Eastland-Jones R, German AJ, Holden SL, et al. (2014) Owner misperception of canine body condition persists despite use of BCS chart. J Nutr Sci (In the Press).
66 Blouin DB (2013) Are dogs children, companions, or just animals? Understanding variations in people's orientations toward animals. Anthrozoois 26, 279294.
67 Deagle G, Holden SL, Biourge V, et al. (2014) Investigating long-term outcomes of weight management in obese cats. J Nutr Sci (In the Press).
68 Rolph NC, Noble PJM & German AJ (2014) How often do primary care veterinarians record the overweight status of dogs? J Nutr Sci (In the Press).
69 Serisier S, Feugier A, Venet C, et al. (2013) Faster growth rate in ad libitum-fed cats: a risk factor predicting the likelihood of becoming overweight during adulthood. J Nutr Sci 2, e11.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 81
Total number of PDF views: 351 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 911 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 16th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.