URBANA, Ill. – In the preschool years, children begin to learn from their environment about self-regulation—both in regards to food choices and how to deal with their emotions. When children don’t learn effective self-regulation skills during those early critical years, studies have shown they may be at a greater risk of becoming obese.

One factor that has been linked to childhood obesity is restrictive feeding practices by primary caregivers, the implication being that it may interfere with a child’s ability to learn to self-regulate food intake.