Impact of mother’s habits on children

Mother's healthy habits can prevent childhood obesity

The study highlights the crucial role a mother's lifestyle choices can have on her children's health.

Parents who want their kids to have healthier lifestyles might want to start practicing what they preach.

The study was published online in BMJ.

The prevalence of obesity in New Zealand had already trebled to 30% between 1977 and 2013, making it the third-most obese nation.

One in five American children and teenagers aged 6-19 years is obese. Obesity in childhood is associated with an increased risk of several disorders, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as premature death, in adulthood.

All the children who were involved in the studies, 5.3 percent and 1282 children were obese during the research period.

A new study is predicting two million New Zealanders could be considered clinically obese in the next 20 years.

So an worldwide team based in Canada and the U.S. set out to investigate whether mother and child lifestyle factors have an effect on the risk of childhood obesity. But the degree to which these behaviors made a difference may still be surprising.

The risk of obesity was also lower among children of mothers who consumed low or moderate levels of alcohol compared with those whose mothers abstained from alcohol. These mothers maintain a healthy weight, exercise at least the recommended 150 minutes per week, and don't smoke. Good diet and regular exercising are among them. But should be fine in moderate amounts, according to the study.

24000 Children who were of age 9-18, this data was analyzed by the Researchers of the Harvard School of Public Health.

The Growing Up Today Study (GUTS) began in 1996 with a mission to better understand how diet and exercise influence weight changes throughout the course of a person's life.

"Programs that seek to change a child's behavior into one of healthy eating are very hard, but our work suggests that some strategies may involve intervening at the mother's level", Sun said.

However, mothers who followed all five habits boasted a 75% lower risk for their kids becoming obese than mothers who followed none of those habits.

Results showed mothers who followed four of the five habits showed a lower risk of obesity among their kids, noting diet did not appear "significantly associated". For example, children of women who maintained a healthy weight had a 56 percent lower risk of obesity than children of women who didn't maintain a healthy weight.

Still, there are a lot of other questions to answer. Fathers could play a role in whether their kids end up obese. Data from a wider swath of the USA population would be helpful. "So, for instance, decreasing or eliminating their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages - juice is probably the single-worst culprit".

We also need studies that show how paternal lifestyle might impact kids, the authors write in the study.

The study is observational, meaning it observes a link between a mother's lifestyle and her offspring's likelihood of obesity rather than proving the former directly causes the latter.

The smoking status of the mother determines the overall health of the child.

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