Children of parents who enforce a set routine at home in regards to watching television, eating dinner, and exercising have slimmer waistlines, a new Australian study shows.

When both parents set clear guidelines about household routines, children had a lower body mass index and were thinner, said researchers from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne.

The study involved 4,002 children and their parents who participated in a long-term study. Findings were published online this week in the journal Pediatrics.

Prior research has found that parents can change up a few household routines to help their kids fight the battle of the bulge. Published September in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, US and Canadian researchers implemented a home-based intervention to help young kids lose weight, by curbing TV time, increasing sleep time, and encouraging families to dine together.