Is There a Link Between Working Moms and Childhood Obesity?

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A recent study conducted by American University in Washington, Cornell University in New York state and the University of Chicago suggests that the more mother’s work during their children’s lifetimes, the more likely their kids are to be overweight or obese.

The study published in the Journal Child Development about three weeks ago, covered data on more than 900 elementary and middle school aged children in 10 US cities.

It concluded that the total number of years the children’s mothers worked had a cumulative influence on their children’s body mass index (BMI).

“Every period of time (averaging 5.3 months) a mother was employed was associated with an increase in her child’s BMI of 10 percent of a standard deviation,” the study stated.

“For a child of average height, this is equivalent to a gain in weight of nearly one pound every five months above and beyond what would typically be gained as a child ages.”

The researchers did not go into specifics as to why the study concluded in this manner. However, it might be due to the fact that most working mothers have less time to shop for healthy food and prepare meals. This results in their children eating more fast food and packaged food which is higher in fat and calories.

Childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years in the United States alone. One out of every three kids eleven and under in the US is overweight or obese. These children are more likely than their normal-weight counterparts to grow up to be obese adults and suffer from obesity-related conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver disease.

What can working moms do to reverse these statistics? The Healthy Moms Magazine recommends that parents who struggle with busy work schedules should prepare healthy meals ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate them. If your children spend a lot of time home alone go through your pantry and remove high sodium and empty calorie packaged food items. Replace these with healthier snacks like sugar free granola, dried and fresh fruits, low fat yogurt, nuts and seeds. Encourage your children to drink water or low fat milk instead of soda.

A lot of schools are cutting back on Physical Education. If this is the case in your children’s school join your local YMCA or get him involved in sports offered by your city’s park and recreation department. Today there are more and more opportunities that encourage physical activity for children outside of school.

Are you a working mom finding it difficult to feed your children healthy food?

Why do you think that children of working moms are more likely to be obese?

Are you concerned that your children are a part of this statistic?

Do you have any advice for working moms?

Are you looking for more ideas on how you can help your children avoid obesity?

Do you think the government should get involved? If so what can they do to help you?

The answers to these questions provided by working moms may help end this trend. Here at The Healthy Moms Magazine we value your input.

Discuss this in our forum

Is There a Link Between Working Moms and Childhood Obesity?
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  1. Jo's Health Corner February 26, 2011
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