A study by Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health USA, found that children and adolescents whose mother’s follow some selected healthy habits: exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, keeping a healthy body weight, not smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation, were 75 per cent less likely to become obese compared to children whose mothers do not follow any such habit.
According to the study, smoking, physical inactivity and maternal obesity had a strong association with obesity among children and adolescents included in the study. Children whose mothers maintained a healthy body weight were 56 per cent less likely to develop obesity compared to those whose mothers did not. Further, children of mothers who did not smoke had a 31 per cent less chance of becoming obese, compared to the children whose mothers smoked. On the other hand, mothers dietary practices was not associated with childhood obesity, probably because children sometimes get food from school or other places away from home. Further, data regarding alcohol consumption was not sufficient to determine its influence on childhood obesity.
This study shows how important a mother’s lifestyle is to the health of their children. However, a number of factors, including the fact that children are under the care of others as parents work and older children and adolescents are often mistakenly considered independent comes into play.
Today family routines as well as caregiving practises have changed a great deal. It would be interesting to learn how these shifts have affected childhood and adolescent obesity.
They say, children are a product of their environment. Well, who is your child learning from?