Americans with kids more likely to be obese: Study

Putting on excess weight? Blame your kids,as an American study has claimed that parents with children up to 18 years of age are less likely to exercise.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published:June 28, 2010 3:54 pm

Putting on excess weight? Blame your kids,as an American study has claimed that parents with children up to 18 years of age are less likely to exercise and more likely to be overweight or obese.

The study,based on interviews of more than 59,000 Americans,aged 18 to 50,found that exercise habits and weight gains have been major issues for parents compared to those without children.

In the survey,conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index,the participants were asked how many days in the past week did you exercise for 30 or more minutes,LiveScience reported.

It was found that the impact on exercise was most pronounced for those with very young kids,aged 0 to 4 years,with about 28 per cent of parents in the group said that they never exercised for 30 minutes a day in the past week compared to about 25 per cent of those with no children.

Although these differences are small,they are still significant,the researchers said.

It also found that parents with a child 18 years old or younger were also less likely to report exercising five days a week.

Parents of 5- to 18-year-olds suffer the most when it comes to obesity. About 26.5 per cent of parents in this group had a body mass index (BMI) that put them in the obese category,and 35.8 per cent fell into the overweight category.

For those with no children under the age of 18,24.3 per cent were obese and 32.2 per cent were overweight.

Parents with kids at home are also less likely to be normal weight than are those adults with no child at home,according to the survey carried out between January and June 2010.

“While the exercise habits and weight issues of parents themselves are a significant problem for the health and quality of life of those individuals,they can also be a drain on health care costs,” the report said.

“An even bigger crisis,the researchers point out,involves the potential effects on the children of these parents.”

Parental health habits have an impact on children,and numerous studies have found that children who have obese parents are more likely to be obese as adults.

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