Only child more likely to be obese, says research

November 8, 2019

According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, children without siblings are at a higher risk of gaining weight than those who have brothers and sisters. The study added that this is because families with multiple children tend to make more healthy eating decisions than families with a single child.

This kind of obesity could be seven times more common among youngsters. Study lead author Chelsea L. Kracht from the University of Oklahoma in the US said, “Healthier eating behaviours and patterns may result from household-level changes rather than peer exposure, as peer exposure is also present in away-from-home care.”

For the study, mothers completed the Family Nutrition and Physical Activity questionnaire to evaluate typical family eating behaviours like food and beverage choice. Data were self-reported in daily food logs kept by mothers over the course of two weeks while teachers kept track of what the children ate while at school.

Researchers have found that families of only-children had less healthy eating practices and beverage choices. The study further revealed that mothers of single children are more likely to be obese themselves. Time spent in away-from-home care like school and daycare was not connected to children’s eating patterns.

Kracht said, “Nutrition professionals must consider the influence of family and siblings to provide appropriate and tailored nutrition education for families of young children. Efforts to help all children and families establish healthy eating habits and practices must be encouraged.”

Recommended: In-school nutrition programmes help prevent obesity

Also read: No junk food for school children from December?

Source: IANS

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