According to a controversial study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the obesity epidemic may be partially to blame on working mothers. Could this really be the cause of overweight kids?
Dr. Leah Li and her colleagues at the University College London studied over 8,000 parents, with over 1,500 children between the ages of 4 and 9. Of all the families, the researchers noticed a shocking trend. The families that had full-time working mothers were nearly twice as likely to have overweight children than those with stay-at-home mothers. Working mothers seemed to be 48% more likely to have overweight children than non-working mothers.
The researchers are trying not to point the finger of blame directly at working mothers. There are many other factors that are involved in having overweight children. Children with overweight parents are more likely to be, themselves, overweight. Also, families today have more options of unhealthy foods, more advertising urging them to purchase unhealthy foods, and less time available to be active compared to past generations. The fact that more families require two incomes is evidence that things have changed dramatically from earlier times.
However, the pattern between working mothers and overweight children is something the researchers have noticed. It may be researched further to see what other causes are linked with the trend. The study did not look at the effects that working fathers may have had on weight and health for their children.- Summer, staff writer
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