Everyone has experienced it at some point- you have a bad day or you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, so you decide to eat your feelings. Well, studies by Professor of Psychology Jon Maner show that children with unpredictable circumstances aren’t any different. Children who move a lot, see their parents get a divorce, or experience crime are at a higher risk of becoming obese as adults. Children thrust into these situations often live in the moment, and aren’t good at predicting future consequences. Food can often be comforting, and gratifying- and children who feel the need to gratify themselves aren’t good at delaying it. These same children often tend to have their own children at an early age, and spend money without saving. This theory is based of a series of behavioral sciences called “Life History Theory”. This has been used to predict future behaviors of children as parents and financial decision makers. The children whose childhoods were not stable tend to cause a “fast life history” strategy”- meaning they more often than not seek instant gratification, which can come in the form of many things. One of those many things being food- the catalyst of obesity.

Key Points:

  • 1Childhood trauma such as divorce or abuse may lead to obesity later in life.
  • 2Children raised in unstable conditions find it difficult to plan for the future.
  • 3As a result, these children tend to live the present moment and may tend to overeat.

Researchers have discovered that an unpredictable childhood appears to be linked to a much higher risk of adult obesity.


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