5 Key Lifestyle Habits Parents Can Follow to Protect Their Kids From Obesity
When it comes to your child’s health, the age-old advice to lead by example still applies.
A new study found children of mothers who follow a healthy lifestyle have a significantly lower risk of developing obesity than those whose mothers don’t.
“Children look up to their parents. They follow their parents because their parents are their role models,” the study’s main author, Harvard University assistant professor Qi Sun, stated.
While the study’s findings may not be incredibly surprising, Sun said the extent to which a mother’s health and that of her children’s correlate is.
Harvard University researchers found a direct link between a mother’s lifestyle and her kids’ chances of becoming obese.
The research, published in the British Medical Journal, examined the children of nearly 17,000 women in two U.S. studies. It studied the following five indicators and found that they all were linked to a child’s chances of obesity:
- the mother’s body mass index (or BMI)
- whether or not she smoked
- her alcohol consumption level
- her amount of physical activity
- her diet
After taking account of potentially influential factors, such as age, ethnicity and history of chronic diseases, the researchers found the risk of obesity in kids was 56 percent lower in children of women with a “healthy” BMI (18-25) than for mothers in the overweight or underweight categories.
Mothers who followed all five healthy lifestyle habits had children whose chance of obesity was 75 percent lower compared to offspring whose mothers did not follow any of them.
author: Marguerite Ward / source: TODAY (July 5, 2018)