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PHOENIX -- Strict rules and inadequate affection can equal fat children, a Canadian study suggests.

Researchers studied over 37,000 children between birth and age 11. The study looked at the way the parents behaved and how the children were raised. It was determined that parents who skimp on the affection and communication tend to have children who are overweight or obese.

The study suggested children from 2 to 5 years who had stricter parents were 30 percent more likely to be obese. Children 6 to 11 were 37 percent more likely to be obese.

"I don't suggest you not have rules for your children, you must have rules," said Judy Gamen, with Executive Medicine of America. "You have to have balance in showing children love in addition to the limits."

According to experts like Gamen, it is possible that children are filling a void left by the parents with food high in calories, low in nutritional value.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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