Fat children are more likely to have their father to blame for their weight problem than their mother, a new study shows.
Research by Australian child health experts has revealed that fathers who are disengaged or do not set clear limits for their kids are more likely to have heavier children.
Dads who did lay down boundaries generally had children with a lower body mass index (BMI), the study of almost 5000 youngsters found.
Surprisingly, a mother’s parenting behaviour or style apparently had no impact on whether a child was overweight or obese, according to research by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. The specialists said it was vital to study early parenting because home life often established patterns for lifelong obesity.
Earlier research had shown that childhood obesity was highly stable during the primary school years, right from school entry, Professor Wake said. “For instance, the BMI of a prep-grade child has an 85 per cent correlation with their BMI three years later,” she said.
“Obese school children are very likely to become obese adults.”
Extra weight is a precursor to serious childhood and adult diseases such as asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
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