Children with strict parents are more likely to be overweight than those with more relaxed parents.
Strict parents and those with low expectation for self-control and discipline in their kids, could be putting the children's long-term health at risk.
A US study on parenting styles and the weight of children at age six found the weight of children often depended on the style of parenting.
The best parenting style to avoid obesity was authoritative where parents were respectful of their child's opinions, but kept clear boundaries.
Boston University School of Medicine researchers categorised mothers into four groups:
1) Those with high expectations for self-control and high sensitivity were considered authoritative.
2) Mums with high expectations for self-control and low sensitivity were considered authoritarian.
3) Ones with low expectations for self-control and high sensitivity were regarded as permissive.
4) Mothers with low expectations for self-control and low sensitivity were classed as neglectful.
More than 870 children and their mothers took part in the study, which was published in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal Pediatrics.
About 11 per cent of the children were overweight and a further 13.4 per cent were at risk.
Mothers with an authoritarian parenting style were significantly more likely to have overweight children compared with mothers with an authoritative parenting style.
Permissive and neglectful parenting also increased the risk of overweight children.
"A better understanding of how these parenting styles affect child behaviour patterns regarding eating and activity levels . . . may help to guide the development of more comprehensive and more effective prevention and treatment programs for overweight children," wrote lead researcher Dr Kyung Rhee.