Findings of a recent British study are certain to unnerve working moms. Children whose mothers work outside of the home are more likely to eat unhealthy foods, watch too much television and are less likely to exercise. The study tracked the dietary habits and physical activity of more than 12,500 children ages nine months to five years. The results point toward working parents not having as much time to “provide their children with healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.”
The study also noted that children of working moms were more often driven to school as opposed to walking or riding a bike. This in turn helped foster a sedentary lifestyle in which sitting in front of the computer or television was in excess of 2 hours a day. On the contrary, kids of stay at home moms logged less than 2 hours of media viewing and got more exercise.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and there are most likely plenty of stay at home moms who do not monitor their children’s diet, physical activity and media intake properly — while there must also exist many working mothers who put every effort into their child’s feeding and exercise plan and make sure their television time is not excessive. As with all of these types of studies, they should serve as a reminder to stay aware of our children’s needs in order to offer them the healthiest lifestyle possible. – Beth Shea, Staff Writer