Those who are taught self-control and gratification delay at an early age may be expected to have a lower body mass index (BMI) as adults, a new study published by the Journal of Pediatrics says.
The study, which covered 653 4-year-olds between 1968-1974, required children to complete periodic delay gratification tests. The initial study correlated self-control with improvements in several academic measures.
A follow-up on the same children decades later demonstrated a link between early self-control and later BMI. Only 24 percent of the children who could delay gratification were overweight adults and nine percent were obese, lower than the 2008 national adult average of 34 percent overweight and 34 percent obese.
"Interventions can improve young children's self-control, which may decrease children's risk of becoming overweight and may have further positive effects on other outcomes important to society (general health, financial stability, and a reduced likelihood of being convicted of a crime)," lead author Tanya R. Schlam at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health's Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention said.
by RTT Staff Writer
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